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Tideway launches UK's first tunnelling apprenticeship scheme

Tbm in battersea1

Tideway has launched 12 apprenticeship positions for trainee engineers to learn about the tunnelling industry while working on the super sewer project.  

As digging gets underway for London’s Thames Tideway Tunnel, project promoter Tideway is opening 12 level two apprenticeships for new engineers to train as the next generation of tunnellers.  

Works have begun in Battersea as Millicent, as the first Tideway tunnel boring machine (TBM), named for the suffragist Millicent Fawcett, built the first ring of the tunnel at Kirtling Street. 

The Thames Tideway Tunnel is estimated to create 4,000 jobs, including 700 positions directly working on or supporting the tunnelling efforts – including 12 spaces for students to learn the industry as they work on site.  

Tideway chief operating officer Mark Sneesby said: “It’s fantastic we’re able to mark this event by announcing a new apprenticeship, which will allow a new generation of tunnellers to train alongside some of the most highly skilled and experienced people in the construction industry, ensuring we have the right abilities for future infrastructure projects.”   

The apprenticeship scheme was approved in January 2018 and is the first of its kind in the tunnelling industry.   

Tideway’s head of skills and employment Scott Young said the scheme will improve diversity in the industry.  

“This scheme is an opportunity to bring people from diverse backgrounds into part of the industry where we have previously struggled to make vocational routes work effectively,” he said. 

“This programme is about showing the range of varied occupations in our sector that offer a rewarding career and potentially global travel for many years into the future for the successful candidates.” 

The scheme will teach the 12 students the typical tunnelling methods such as hand tunnelling, machine tunnelling, pipejacking, sprayed concrete lining, shaft sinking and drill and blast.  

By the end of the scheme individuals will be competent tunnelling operatives able to assist with the excavation, support and forming of tunnels and shafts 

To find out more information and to apply, register on the Build London portal and email expressing your interest in the role.

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