Crossrail trains up its 446th apprentice as workforce expands to 12,000

Crossrail apprentices graduate [Photo: Crossrail]

Crossrail apprentices graduate [Photo: Crossrail] - Credit: Crossrail

Crossrail has shot past its target of taking on 400 apprrentices after training some 8,000 workers at its east London tunnelling academy.

The 446 apprentices trained from scratch have joined the expanding 12,000 workforce building London’s £16 billion ‘super tube’ project opening in 2018.

Transport Secretary Sir Patrick McLoughlin and Crossrail Chairman Terry Morgan met many of the apprentices to mark the milestone at a ceremony at the Bond Street construction site.

Tunnelling under central London is nearly complete, with boring machines that have made their way from Canning Town through Canary Wharf and Whitechapel to Liverpool Street now working on the final leg up to Farringdon, to link up with the tunnelling in the opposite direction from Paddington that has been burrowing under the West End.

The work on the 30 miles of concrete-lined twin tunnels is expected to finish later this month, with the next phase constructing the stations along the route set to be under way later this year. This work includes structures, ventilation shafts, escalator excavations, platforms, subway passages, drainage tunnels, track laying, installing power supplies and signalling and other systems.

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Crossrail and its sub-contractors are continuing to recruit apprentices for the rest of the construction in a programme aimed at encouraging the young and unemployed to learn new skills with qualifications.

The apprenticeships cover professions from construction, tunnelling and sprayed concrete operations to accountancy, quantity surveying and business administration.

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Crossrail’s recruitment approach uses a Jobcentres brokerage scheme to find the large number of skilled workers needed in construction and tunnelling.

The programme has also taken on 746 unemployed jobseekers who have now secured jobs with Crossrail.

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