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Jobs on the cards for Redbridge people as Crossrail academy opens

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 October 2011

The academy in Ilford

The academy in Ilford

A £13million underground construction training school which will equip people to work on the Crossrail project has opened in Ilford.

The Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA) in Lugg Approach off Romford Road is offering its first courses and more will be available later in the year.

The academy aims to address the shortage of people with the necessary skills to work on the Crossrail route, which will incorporate Ilford, Seven Kings, Goodmayes and Chadwell Heath railway stations, and other tunnelling projects across the UK.

Bosses say it also has the potential to assist European schemes.

TUCA will be fully opened in early 2012 following the completion of training areas, including a simulated tunnel environment which will allow students to gain experience in practical skills.

It will have four teaching rooms, a test centre and learning resource centre.

Crossrail chairman Terry Morgan said: “Crossrail is gearing up for the start of tunnelling next spring and we have now commenced specialist training for the first of many thousands who will work on the project.

“TUCA will have a critical role to play in equipping people, particularly those from along the Crossrail route, with the necessary training and skills to work below ground.

“The academy will not only act as a centre of excellence for tunnelling and underground construction in the UK but also for European tunnelling projects longer-term.”

TUCA will be supported by BASF Meyco Equipment, which is donating plant and construction supplies worth £600,000, National Grid, Interocean Personnel Services and New Civil Engineer magazine.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “It will be a vital resource and Crossrail is working closely with job centres along the route to ensure as many local people as possible are able to learn the skills necessary to play a part in the largest construction project in the southeast for 50 years.”


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