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Transport Secretary highlights importance of apprenticeship schemes to the UK.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin today (19 January 2015) visited Crossrail’s Bond Street site to congratulate the 400th apprentice appointed to work on the project.
Crossrail will transform rail travel across London and beyond. As well as increasing the capacity of the capital’s transport network, it supports economic regeneration and cuts journey times for the 200 million passengers who are expected to use the service every year.
Crossrail has committed to creating at least 400 apprenticeships over the lifetime of the project and has achieved this milestone ahead of schedule with the appointment of Fatima Alghali, 23, today.
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.
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 2 million apprenticeships in this Parliament.
As part of this drive, construction is well underway on the multi-million pound national training academy funded by the government to serve as a hub for skills development in rail engineering.
Around 2 in 5 of Crossrail apprenticeships have been filled by people that were previously not in work. They have been trained in a range of professions from construction to accountancy, quantity surveying to business administration.
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 infrastructure projects of the future.
Crossrail will run over 100 kilometres from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. It will call at 40 Crossrail stations including 10 new ones:
- Bond Street
- Tottenham Court Road
- Liverpool Street
- Canary Wharf
- Custom House
- Abbey Wood
When it opens in 2018, it will bring an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of central London, linking them to key employment, leisure and business districts.
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