Project will include nearly 100 apprenticeships and training for 5,000 workers

The government has announced £1.1m of funding for tunnelling and underground construction skills.

The investment, which is matched by £1.7m of industry funding, is intended to create a legacy of engineering jobs and skills from major projects such as Crossrail.

The plans will focus on creating new routes into tunnelling jobs, as well as building the skills of current employees in preparation for projects such as Crossrail 2 and High Speed 2. The plans include:

  • Creating and funding 75 new apprenticeships
  • Creating and delivering 20 specialist marine apprenticeships
  • Creating a range of accredited courses to up-skill the tunnelling workforce, working with subcontractors and employees at all levels to train a total of 4,813 workers.

Nick Boles, skills minister, said: “Crossrail alone is creating a total of 30,000 jobs and with other major projects planned we want to go even further, to create a jobs legacy for future generations and give the industry the skills it needs to dig deeper and further.”

The project will also establish a new industry partnership of tunnelling and underground construction employers. This will involve the creation of a new industry advisory panel, representing all Crossrail-linked employers and future large tunnelling employers, working together to identify ways to grow the industry.

Terry Morgan, Crossrail chairman said: “The volume of tunnelling and underground construction work taking place in the UK over the next decade is unprecedented. It is essential that we continue to grow the industry’s talent base to ensure Britain remains at the forefront of major infrastructure delivery.”