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A tunnelling legacy to the UK construction industry

A tunnelling legacy to the UK construction industry

The £13 million Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) in Ilford, east London, is central to Crossrail's delivery plans and its legacy to the industry.

TUCA was built and established by Crossrail in 2011 for the purpose of meeting the skills training needs of the Crossrail project and the wider industry. The Academy was funded by Crossrail and the Skills Funding Agency who contributed £5 million. The vast majority of the state-of-the-art equipment used at TUCA was sponsored, loaned or gifted by industry partners.

TUCA is Europe’s only specialist soft-ground tunnelling training facility and provides training for the key skills required to work in tunnel excavation, underground construction and infrastructure.
Since opening in September 2011, over 15,000 people have been trained with skills and safety training, designed and delivered by industry experts.

The Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy will continue to deliver the training and skills required by the contractors working on the Crossrail project and beyond including the Tideway project in London.and the Northern Line Extension

The training offered at TUCA has included:

  • Pre-employment training to help local people access construction jobs;
  • Tunnel Safety Card and its successor, the Tunnel Safety Training Scheme (mandatory requirement for Crossrail);
  • Tunnel Entry & Evacuation courses
  • NVQ Level 2 Tunnel Operations
  • NVQ Level 3 Supervisory Management;
  • Working at heights and in confined spaces;
  • Construction Plant Competence Scheme loco driver training;
  • Construction Skills Health and Safety Tests;
  • Sprayed concrete applications;
  • Laboratory Technician training in materials testing, including a new Apprenticeship on the occupation; and
  • Apprenticeships in a range of other tunnelling and construction related occupations.

TUCA is located at Aldersbrook Sidings on the border of Newham and Redbridge. The site is a ten minute walk from Ilford station making it easily accessible by train.​

For further information about TUCA’s training programmes and facilities visit the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy website:

Over 7,000 training opportunities

Over 7,000 training enrolments at the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy near Ilford.