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Tunnelling skills given £2.8M cash injection

Training for tunnelling and underground construction has received a £2.8m cash boost.

Some £1.1M of government funding, announced by skills minister Nick Boles, will be used to create new routes into tunnelling jobs and to develop the skills of existing employees for projects such as Crossrail 2 and High Speed 2.

The state finance 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 investment will create and fund 75 apprenticeships and 20 specialist marine apprenticeships, Boles said.

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 successfully bid for the government grant through the Employer Ownership Pilot.

A new Industry Advisory Panel will be created, representing all Crossrail-linked employers and future large tunnelling employers.

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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