Latest Rail News

08.08.14

Young people grab work opportunities on Crossrail

Crossrail is “leading the way in developing a new generation of skilled workers”, according to transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

On a visit to Farringdon station yesterday – at which he also announced the proposals to extend Crossrail services to Hertfordshire – McLoughlin praised Crossrail and its contractor Bam Ferrovial Kier (BFK), which has just appointed its 100th apprentice.

Jordan Malcolm-Taylor, 20, from Haringey, joined the team in May. He was previously unemployed, but was recruited from Crossrail’s Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) in Ilford and now works as an apprentice carpenter. He said: “I always wanted to get into learning the construction trade. I chose carpentry as I like being creative and working with my hands. This apprenticeship has influenced me to be more independent and is preparing me to take on new responsibilities.”

Overall, 360 apprentices have been employed to work on the project.

McLoughlin said: “Crossrail is leading the way in developing a new generation of skilled workers, and it is great to see young people like Jordan embrace the opportunities on offer.

“By investing record amounts in the rail network, we are not only transforming journeys for millions of passengers, we are also creating a skills legacy that will boost our construction and engineering industries for decades to come. Today’s announcement is proof that our long-term plan to create jobs, invest in young people and secure lasting economic growth is firmly on track.”

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London said: “It is fantastic that so many young people have been given the opportunity to contribute to one of the world’s most ambitious infrastructure projects, learning valuable, transferable skills along the way. I would encourage other employers to follow BFK’s lead and offer apprenticeships, giving this eager, enthusiastic workforce the chance to drive forward London’s vibrant economy.”

Luis Amorim, BFK Joint Venture managing director, said: “The construction industry needs 120,000 apprentices over the next five years to fill an emerging skills gap. Although employing our 100th apprentice may feel like a ‘drop in the ocean’ against this challenging background, we are very proud of having trained one in every four apprentices across the whole of the Crossrail programme. And we will not stop at our 100th apprentice; Bam Ferrovial Kier JV is fully committed to engaging with young people in our local communities from all walks of life, to develop them through their vocational choices, for as long as we are jointly delivering this exciting Crossrail programme."

Crossrail chief executive Andrew Wolstenholme said: “Every apprentice employed on Crossrail has developed new skills, helping their careers, but also improving the UK’s skills base too. We want our approach to apprentices to be adopted by future infrastructure projects, helping with youth unemployment and filling skill gaps in the industry.”

BFK has built the two railway tunnels that run between Paddington and the new Farringdon Crossrail station. It is also building the station tunnel caverns at Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road and all the works at Farringdon.

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

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