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Crossrail creates 400th apprenticeship

By Andrew Dempsey

  • Secretary of State for Transport visits Bond Street site to meet Crossrail’s apprentices
  • Around two in five Crossrail apprenticeships have been filled by people that were previously not in work

Crossrail has created its 400th apprenticeship; the milestone was celebrated by Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, when he visited the Bond Street Crossrail site.

Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport said: “Crossrail is the biggest construction project in Europe and shows UK engineering at its best. I am delighted it has created so many opportunities for young people in civil engineering and construction.

“This Government is investing significant amounts in the country’s infrastructure. As we start work on other major projects like HS2 and the Thames Tideway, apprenticeship programmes that ensure young people have the right skills to build our long-term economic future are vital.”

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “I am committed to increasing the number of apprenticeships in the capital and the hundreds of roles helping build vital new rail capacity at Crossrail are fabulous opportunities for young people to get on to the first rung of the career ladder. Apprenticeship starts are now increasing at a faster rate in the capital than any other UK region and we want to see even more of London’s firms follow Crossrail’s lead by helping provide the next generation of Londoners with skills that will benefit them for years to come.”

Crossrail’s 400th apprentice is Fatima Alghali, 23, from Denmark Hill in southeast London. Previously a sales negotiator at an estate agent in London, Fatima now works for contractors BBMV as a Commercial Apprentice at Whitechapel and Liverpool Street stations.

Crossrail’s 400th apprentice Fatima Alghali said: “I can’t recommend apprenticeships more highly. Working on Europe’s largest construction project has given me an unforgettable introduction. No two days are the same, and not only am I learning from some of the best engineers in the industry I will end up with a qualification that will give me a great start to a career. It’s also a huge help that you earn a salary as I’ll be debt free when I qualify.”

Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman said: “In 2009 Crossrail made a commitment to reinvigorate the UK’s tunnelling and construction skills base with new talent. I’m delighted that we have achieved this major milestone but we will not stop there, and will continue to create new apprenticeships as the project evolves. As a former apprentice I have seen first hand how beneficial apprenticeships are for both individuals and employers. Crossrail’s approach to skills training is a model that can be adopted across the industry to help deliver the UK infrastructure projects of the future.”

Crossrail committed to delivering at least 400 apprenticeships over the lifetime of the project. Around two in five (44%) Crossrail apprenticeships have been filled by people that were previously not in work; a figure that’s double the UK average. They have been trained in a range of professions from construction to accountancy, quantity surveying to business administration.

More than 40,000 people now start an apprenticeship every year in London. Boosting youth employment is a key priority for the Mayor and apprenticeships are one important way to achieve this. Since April 2009, Transport for London and their suppliers have created over 5,000 apprenticeship roles. While many of the apprentices are in London, a number are employed across the UK as a direct result of TfL contracts with other businesses.

Apprenticeships are at the heart of the government’s drive to equip people of all ages with the skills employers need, giving them a chance to reach their potential and achieve a successful career. The government has fulfilled its commitment to starting two million apprenticeships in this Parliament. As part of this drive, construction is well underway on the multi-million pound national training academy for rail engineering funded by the government to serve as a hub for skills development in traction and rolling stock.

EngineeringUK estimates that 2.56 million additional engineering jobs will be created between 2012 and 2022. The demand in engineering skills is in part being driven by an unprecedented level of planned infrastructure projects such as the Northern Line Extension and Thames Tideway.

More than 10,000 people are working directly on Crossrail. Over the course of the project, it is estimated that Crossrail and its supply chain will support the equivalent of 55,000 full time jobs across the country. A total of 84,300 jobs were supported last year across the UK, through TfL's investment programme and Crossrail.

In addition, Crossrail has sought to attract new talent and open up opportunities to a broader pool of workers:

  • Working with its contractors, Crossrail requires all new jobs to be advertised externally and through Jobcentre Plus
  • More than 8,000 enrolments in Crossrail’s Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in Ilford, which opened in 2011
  • Providing meet the contractor days where job seekers and local residents can meet Crossrail contractors and hear about the latest jobs. More than 1,000 unemployed jobseekers have secured jobs on Crossrail.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. TfL will start running Crossrail services through central London in 2018, the route will be fully integrated with the TfL network with stations staffed at all times.

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For further information, contact the Crossrail Press Office on 020 3229 9552 or email [email protected]

About Crossrail

The total funding available to deliver Crossrail is £14.8bn. The Crossrail route will pass through 40 stations and run more than 118 km (73 miles) from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km (13 miles) tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east.

When Crossrail opens it will increase London's rail-based transport network capacity by 10%, supporting regeneration and cutting journey times across the city. Crossrail services are due to commence through central London in 2018.

Crossrail is being delivered by Crossrail Limited (CRL). CRL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Transport for London. Crossrail is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and Transport for London.