Skills offer as thousands of Crossrail jobs created

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The Independent Online

Londoners will be offered the chance to learn skills to help them take advantage of the thousands of new jobs being created by the Crossrail project, it was announced today.

The 118km long, £16 billion rail line, which will run through central London, will support the creation of around 30,000 jobs by 2026, with up to 14,000 being employed at the height of its construction between 2013 and 2015.

A skills and employment strategy was launched today, setting out how local people will be given the chance to work on the ambitious project.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "We want Londoners to benefit from this project in every way and that means giving them the chance to learn the skills and benefit from the jobs created by the scheme.

"The skills strategy and various training and apprenticeship schemes will help us give young inhabitants of this great city the chance to build and benefit from Crossrail as a lasting legacy."

Transport minister Theresa Villiers said: "Crossrail will be more than a world-class railway - for tens of thousands of people it could be the route to a successful career."

Crossrail has committed to creating at least 400 apprenticeships through its supply chain and to develop a specialist tunnelling and underground construction academy.

:: Skills minister John Hayes today invited employers, individuals, colleges and training organisations to share their ideas on how they would like skills policy to be set out in the future.

"Delivering future priorities will involve making difficult choices about the use of public funds. I believe that we can deliver more and save money, but we will only achieve cost effectiveness by challenging the orthodox assumptions about what skills are for, how they are funded and what role Government should play."