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London Bridge Skills Academy produces 500th graduate

The £6.5bn government-sponsored Thameslink Programme, which will transform travel across London and the south east from 2018, has celebrated the 500th trainee to successfully pass through its construction academy. 

Launched in July 2013, the London Bridge Skills Academy was set up to train and develop engineers working on the project, as well as giving them skills for projects of the future. 

Anthony Martin, 31, a previously unemployed man from Southwark, became the 500th graduate of the Academy. After joining the Thameslink Programme a year ago, he has worked for several contractors across the programme, building his experience, as well as the London Bridge station. 

“I’ve been working on sites for many years, doing different kinds of work, from labourer to ground works. Now the skills and the focus which the skills academy has given me has not only made me more employable but also helped me to focus on building a career,” he said. “I’m a traffic marshal and I also assist in the demolition operations here at London Bridge.” 

The Southwark-based Academy has supported over 500 people working on the Thameslink Programme from Network Rail, Costain and their suppliers, and young people from the local community. Courses at the Academy range from entry level to professional in subjects such as the basic Construction Skills Certification Scheme to full Site Manager Safety Training. 

The London Bridge Skills Academy is an on-site virtual academy with a skills co-ordinator based in Beazley House, next to London Bridge station. It launched last year and is set to end in 2017, with the option of a one year extension. 

Rail minister Claire Perry said: “The Thameslink Programme is helping to develop a new generation of highly-skilled engineers for future infrastructure projects. I congratulate everyone who has been through the academy so far, and I hope more workers will follow in their footsteps.” 

“The success of the skills academy and the 500 trainees who have passed through its door is proof that our investment in the rail network is helping to secure long-term economic growth, by generating jobs and creating new career opportunities.” 

(Image: Anthony Martin the 500th London Bridge Skills Academy graduate)

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Dennis Johnson   14/11/2014 at 12:58

I am a Freelance Trainer able to carry out Welder Training in MIG - TIG - Arc. Also Oxy Acetylene/Propane Cutting Training to a very high standard. I would welcome an opportunity to Train on your Project.

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