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Tunnelling skills set for £1.1m government funding boost

Skills minister Nick Boles has announced the government will invest £1.1m in tunnelling and underground construction to help the sector grow.

Government funding will be matched by £1.7m of investment from construction industry employers to create a legacy of engineering jobs and skills from projects such as Crossrail.

The joint investment will be used to create new routes into tunnelling jobs and to develop the skills of existing employees to provide the skilled workers needed for projects including Crossrail 2 and High Speed 2.

It will create and fund 75 apprenticeships and 20 specialist marine apprenticeships.

Funding will also be used to train 4,813 tunnelling workers by creating accredited courses and working with small subcontractors.

Contractors working on tunnelling and underground construction projects and industry leaders successfully bid for the funding through the government’s Employer Ownership Pilot.

They will create a new Industry Advisory Panel, representing all Crossrail-linked employers and future large tunnelling employers, working together to grow the industry.

Crossrail chairman Terry Morgan said: “The volume of tunnelling and underground construction work taking place in the UK over the next decade is unprecedented.

“Crossrail, in partnership with its principal contractors, has delivered the most significant injection of new skills in a generation.

“It is essential that we continue to grow the industry’s talent base to ensure Britain remains at the forefront of major infrastructure delivery.”

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