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Crossrail partners with Women into Construction

By Andrew Dempsey

  • New partnership aims to recruit more women into construction industry
  • Rail Minister Claire Perry MP visits Farringdon to meet women working on Crossrail

Rail Minister Claire Perry MP met a new generation of female construction workers at Crossrail’s Farringdon station today, to mark a new partnership between Europe’s largest infrastructure project and Women into Construction.

Originally created as part of the London 2012 employment strategy, Women into Construction is an independent, not-for-profit organisation. It aims to recruit women into all areas of construction, from entry level trades roles through to professional construction placements. The scheme is currently funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

Crossrail and its supply chain are working with Women into Construction to create further work experience and employment opportunities. Women into Construction has re-located to Crossrail’s headquarters in Canary Wharf where office space has been provided free of charge. This will allow even greater collaboration with Crossrail’s own employability and education teams including the job brokerage service which works in partnership with JobCentre Plus and Young Crossrail.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “The Crossrail partnership with Women into Construction sends a clear signal that now is the perfect time for women to pursue a career in this growing and exciting sector. I hope that many of the positive role models I have met today can inspire the next generation of female engineers and construction workers.

“Crossrail is bringing huge economic benefits, creating a trained construction workforce which can help deliver the infrastructure projects of the future. With government investment in schemes such as HS2, opportunities in construction will continue to grow.”

Kath Moore, Managing Director, Women into Construction, said: “Our partnership with Crossrail gives Women into Construction a unique opportunity to work directly with both Crossrail and their supply chain and help to address the current skills-gaps in construction as we seek to attract and retain far greater numbers of women into the industry.”

Valerie Todd, Crossrail Talent and Resources Director, said: “Crossrail is committed to doing all we can to make construction an exciting and attractive career option for women. This partnership is not only increasing the numbers of women working on the Crossrail build but is helping to further raise awareness of the benefits to be gained by the industry taking on a more diverse workforce.”

Dana Skelley, Director of Asset Management for Surface Transport at TfL, said: “Women are playing a huge part in ensuring that London has a transport network that keeps up with the capital’s growth in the next 15 years. They are playing a vital role in planning, designing, constructing, maintaining and improving the capital’s transport network, and it is fantastic that the construction and transport industries are joining forces to inspire and encourage the next generation of young women to join the transport industry and help bridge the skills and gender gap.”

Crossrail’s first Women into Construction event took place at the Pudding Mill Lane site. Hosted by Morgan Sindall, the event resulted in work placements in Morgan Sindall’s engineering, health and safety and commercial teams. Further work placements have since been secured with other Crossrail principal contractors including Dragados-Sisk and Alstom-TSO-Costain.

With London’s population set to grow from 8.6 million today to 10 million by 2030, the capital will need significant investment in infrastructure to keep London working and growing. A skilled workforce is essential to the delivery of this pipeline of project.

The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) predicts that more than 220,000 construction jobs are set to be created over the next five years. With women making up 50 per cent of the working population of the UK, but only 11 per cent of the construction workforce, recruiting more women into the industry is a key strategy to help reduce the skills gap.

Crossrail is also a key partner of an industry-wide campaign being spearheaded by Transport for London called 100 Years of Women in Transport. The campaign, which launched in November 2014, celebrates the significant contribution women have made to transport over the past 100 years and ultimately looks to increase the proportion of women in the transport industry, particularly those areas significantly underrepresented such as engineering. Since its launch the campaign has grown a network of over 8,500 individuals and 270 organisations and has delivered more than 12 development and networking events, including talks, debates and speed mentoring sessions.

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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 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 central 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.

About Women into Construction

Originally created as part of the Olympic 2012 employment strategy Women into Construction is an independent, not-for-profit organisation. It aims to recruit women into all areas of construction, from entry level trades roles through to professional construction placements. The scheme is currently funded by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB).

About Transport for London’s 100 Years of Women in Transport (100 YOWIT)

The campaign has used innovative approaches to engagement, setting a world record at Horse Guards Parade with the help of over 900 engineers and launching a Great Schools Debate with London schools, culminating at the prestigious House of Lords in December.

The 100 YOWIT campaign and its partners remain heavily committed to educating young people on the benefits of a career in engineering and transport and tackling the issue of scarce skills for the purpose of ensuring the long-term sustainability of transport delivery and consequently the growth of London and the UK.

For further information about the 100 YOWIT campaign visit  or follow the campaign @transportwmn