Skills Minister and Crossrail’s 600th apprentice mark the start of ‘Tomorrow’s Engineers Week’

Skills Minister John Hayes meets apprentices at Crossrail’s Liverpool Street station site to promote the vital role of engineering to society.

Skills Minister John Hayes today (7 November 2016) visited apprentices working on Crossrail to support EngineeringUK’s Tomorrow’s Engineers Week.

He met the project’s 600th apprentice Kayne Wilson, 21, from Croydon, London, and his colleagues to highlight the amazing career opportunities on offer as a result of government investment in transport.

The minister saw some of the skills and experience the apprentices are gaining working on Crossrail – Europe’s largest infrastructure project, which is now almost 80% complete and is on schedule to open on time and budget in December 2018. These skills will be crucial in helping build future UK infrastructure, such as HS2.

Skills Minister John Hayes said:

"Before 2010 and after, as Apprenticeships Minister, I championed vocational skills. Now, having the responsibility for skills at the Department for Transport, I am just as determined that the Government’s investment in infrastructure should mean opportunities to gain and utilise skills.

"That’s why I am delighted to mark this milestone for Crossrail and recognise the significant contribution apprentices are making to this world class project."

Kayne Wilson joined the Crossrail project as an electrical engineering apprentice for Laing O’Rourke earlier this year.

Mr Wilson said:

"An apprenticeship has opened up a new career for me and allowed me to gain experience working on Europe’s biggest infrastructure project. My apprenticeship has been a fantastic experience - I get to earn as I learn, I benefit from the experience of others and am able to put what I’m taught in the classroom into practice on site.

"If anyone is thinking of starting an apprenticeship, I would say go for it. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made and I’m sure you won’t regret it."

Sir Terry Morgan, Crossrail Chairman, said:

"Having started my career as an apprentice I have seen first-hand what apprenticeships can deliver. I’m delighted that their significant contribution has been recognised. There are more opportunities than ever before for young people to build exciting careers in engineering and deliver the UK’s pipeline of infrastructure projects."

About Crossrail

Crossrail, which will be known as the Elizabeth Line from December 2018, is a new rail line that will run for more than 62 miles from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through new tunnels under central London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. Opening in 2018, it will carry an estimated 200 million passengers a year.

The new rail line will connect east and west London via 26 miles of new tunnels under the capital. There will be 40 Crossrail stations including 10 new stations at Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Canary Wharf, Custom House, Woolwich and Abbey Wood.

The Elizabeth Line trains will bring an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes commuting distance of London’s key business districts. It will link London’s key employment, leisure and business districts – Heathrow, the West End, the City and Canary Wharf – enabling further economic development.

Crossrail, in partnership with its principal contractors, has delivered the most significant injection of new skills into UK tunnelling and underground construction in a generation. Crossrail has created 602 apprenticeships across the project and enrolled over 15,000 people at the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy in Ilford. More than 1,000 people who were previously unemployed have gained work on the project.

EngineeringUK is a not for profit organisation, which works in partnership with the engineering community. Tomorrow’s Engineers Week is a national, industry led campaign aimed at encouraging young people to consider engineering as a career choice.