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Over 1,000 apprenticeships delivered by Crossrail programme

By Andrew Dempsey

Over 1,000 apprenticeships delivered by Crossrail programme
  • More than 1,000 apprenticeships created by Crossrail Limited, Network Rail, Bombardier Transportation and MTR Crossrail during delivery of the Crossrail programme
  • Roles have supported construction of the Elizabeth line, manufacture of new Class 345 trains as well as future operation of the railway

More than 1,000 apprenticeships have now been created since the start of the Crossrail programme in 2009.

Andrew Jones MP, Exchequer Secretary to HM Treasury, visited the new Elizabeth line station at Tottenham Court Road to meet current apprentices and those who have qualified and gone on to secure work on other infrastructure projects including Tideway and the Northern Line Extension.

710 apprenticeships have been created by Crossrail Limited and their contractors during the construction and fit-out of the new stations and tunnels under London, far surpassing the original target of 400 apprenticeships. Apprentices have been trained in a range of professions from civil engineering and business administration to railway systems and mechanical and electrical engineering.

Network Rail, Bombardier Transportation and MTR Crossrail have also created 297 apprenticeships as part of the upgrade of the existing rail network for the Elizabeth line, and the manufacture and operation of the new Class 345 trains.

Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Jones MP, said: “I want to commend Crossrail and its partners for taking on the 1,000th apprentice. This is a really impressive milestone which supports the Government's commitment to see 3 million more apprenticeships by 2020.

“Today I saw for myself how apprentices working on Europe's biggest engineering project are equipping themselves with the skills they need to succeed.”

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Transport Apprenticeships and Year of Engineering Minister John Hayes MP, said:“People know that I have championed vocational skills as both a Minister and Shadow Minister and recognise the significant contribution apprentices are making to Crossrail – one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects. 2018 will see Government and industry join forces to inspire the next generation of engineers for the Year of Engineering, and I have no doubt that the achievements of Crossrail’s apprentices will play a vital role in encouraging young people, their parents and teachers to see the immense value and opportunity of the profession.

“That is why I am delighted to mark this milestone for Crossrail and hope it will inspire many more young people to consider a career that puts them at the forefront of new infrastructure and technology, equipped with the skills that we so greatly need in the UK.”

Val Shawcross CBE, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “It’s fantastic news that more than 1,000 apprenticeships have now been created by the Crossrail programme. Apprenticeships are not just a wonderful way to learn new skills and start a new career, they are also vital for the completion of these projects both now and in the future. It shows once again how important new infrastructure projects like the Elizabeth line are to the whole of the UK.”

Katie Kelleher, a lifting technician for Select Plant Hire on the Tideway project, who was first employed as an apprentice on Crossrail’s Tottenham Court Road site, said: “I can’t recommend apprenticeships highly enough, it’s the best thing I have ever done and it’s been life changing. I was able to earn whilst I learnt my trade on the incredibly exciting Crossrail project, and I’ve now been able to take the next step in what I hope will be a long and rewarding career.”

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Sir Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman, said: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of the Crossrail project and our commitment to creating quality learning and career opportunities for young people has made a huge contribution towards revitalising our infrastructure skills base. Investment in skills and training is essential, not just to the delivery of the Elizabeth line, but also the next generation of projects. I am continually impressed by the drive and commitment of our apprentices and I would like to congratulate each of them on their fantastic achievements.”

Mark Wild, TfL’s Managing Director of London Underground and the Elizabeth line, said: “The number of apprentices who have worked on the construction of the new railway is quite spectacular. They represent the future of the transport industry and have played a key part in creating the Elizabeth line, which will redefine how people travel around the capital. As the line becomes operational we will continue to support apprentices. It is essential that we build on this legacy and inspire more people to realise the fantastic opportunities that are available within the transport industry.”

Since construction of the new railway began in 2009, Crossrail Limited has sought to attract new talent and open up opportunities to a broader pool of workers, not only to complete this project but to support the pipeline of future infrastructure projects. This has included:

  • 20,000 people received training at the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in Ilford, which has now been taken on by Transport for London
  • More than 5,000 unemployed and local people employed thanks to a partnership between Crossrail contractors and Jobcentre Plus
  • Partnering with Women in Construction to recruit more women into the industry
  • Over 40,000 students taught about the project and engineering through the Young Crossrail programme that partnered with local schools along the route.

When the TfL-run Elizabeth line opens in 2018 it will carry over 200 million passengers per year, adding 10 per cent capacity to central London’s rail network. It will link London’s key employment, leisure and business districts – Heathrow, West End, the City and Canary Wharf, and encourage regeneration all the way across the capital.

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About Crossrail


The route will pass through 41 stations from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new twin-bore 21 km tunnels to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. The Transport for London (TfL) run railway will be named the Elizabeth line when services through central London open in December 2018. The Crossrail project is being delivered by Crossrail Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of TfL, and is jointly sponsored by the Department for Transport and TfL.