CROSSRAIL Royal visit for Crossrail academy Feb 2012
Crossrail News Release
- The training academy that will deliver more than 400 apprentices for London's £14.5 billion Crossrail project has been given a royal seal of approval.
HRH Prince Andrew during visit to TUCA
- With less than a month to go before the first of eight TBMs breaks ground on 42km of twin running tunnels, HRH Prince Andrew visited the Ilford-based Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) that will provide training across a range of specialisms for both new entrants and those already working in the industry.
- The Academy was also paid a visit by UK Prime Minister David Cameron as part of the UK's National Apprentice Week.
- More than 70 apprentices are already employed on what is currently Europe's largest infrastructure project. At the height of construction in 2013-2015 it is expected that 14,000 people will be employed.
- In a bid to encourage use of local labour, Crossrail contracts stipulate that contractors must employ one apprentice for every £3 million of contract value. Additionally vacancies must be advertised locally via job centres and local agencies two days before being advertised elsewhere.
Two Prime Ministers at the launch site
- To assist in meeting local employment targets, and to ensure adequate professional and safety training, the Government established TUCA, which opened its doors in September last year (2011). Funding for the Academy is split £7.5 million from Crossrail and £5 million from the Government, but it is expected to supply the necessary training to support recruitment to other tunnelling projects that are in the pipeline, including the proposed Thames Tideway and London Power Tunnel.
- TUCA, which includes among its facilities a tunnel mock-up, a spray concrete workshop and a simulated TBM environment, is also responsible for providing safety training for all underground workers regardless of previous experience.
- Those wanting to work on Crossrail will have to pass a day-long course if they are to be issued with the statutory Tunnel Safety Card.
- The UK's National Construction College is responsible for delivering the Academy's curriculum.
- It will eventually operate as an independent organisation and become a long-term provider of underground construction skills for other major infrastructure projects. The Academy will also act as the London centre for the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering (NSARE).
Assembly of the TBM at Royal Oak portal
- Meanwhile, the first of two Herrenknecht TBMs that will head east to Farringdon on 6.4km drives from the Royal Oak portal in the west of London, near Paddington, has been assembled on site and is currently undergoing testing prior to launch next month (March). The second TBM will begin its parallel drive from the same location a month later (April) and is currently in an advanced stage of assembly.
- Yesterday (22 February) UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy paid a visit to the site and talked to engineers representing the JV that will complete the drive. The JV comprises Spanish company Ferrovial Agroman, as well as Kier Construction and BAM Nuttall.
UK tunnel safety and training schemes in focus - TunnelTalk, August 2011
Scheduling for success at Crossrail - TunnelTalk, April 2011
Herrenknecht begins roll out of Crossrail orders - TunnelTalk, December 2011
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