500th graduate from London Bridge skills academy
A previously unemployed man from Southwark has become the 500th graduate of the London Bridge Skills Academy. The project-based centre of learning is helping engineers deliver the massive £6.5bn Thameslink rail improvement programme – including the complete redevelopment of London Bridge station – while preparing them for the projects of tomorrow.
Anthony Martin, 31, joined the Thameslink Programme a year ago. He has worked for several contractors across the programme, building his experience, as well as the station.
Anthony said: “I’ve been working on sites for many years, doing different kinds of work, from labourer to ground works. Now the skills and the focus which the skills academy has given me has not only made me more employable but also helped me to focus on building a career. I’m a traffic marshall and I also assist in the demolition operations here at London Bridge.”
Since launching in July 2013, the Southwark-based academy has supported over 500 people working on the Thameslink Programme from Network Rail, Costain and their suppliers, and young people from the local community. Courses range from entry level to professional in subjects such as the basic Construction Skills Certification Scheme to full Site Manager Safety Training.
The academy is committed to leaving a long lasting legacy for the local community. Over 30 workless Southwark residents have been employed onto the project, 27 work experience placements have been offered to local schools and colleges and training has been given to 25 local apprentices aged 19-24.
Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “The Thameslink programme is helping to develop a new generation of highly-skilled engineers for future infrastructure projects. I congratulate everyone who has been through the academy so far, and I hope more workers will follow in their footsteps.”
“The success of the skills academy and the 500 trainees who have passed through its door is proof that our investment in the rail network is helping to secure long-term economic growth, by generating jobs and creating new career opportunities.”
Key facts about The National Skills Academy at London Bridge
The CITB funded academy is licensed by the National Skills Academy which is a project-based training concept that is tailored to helping clients and contractors to get the right skills where they need them – on site.
The London Bridge Skills Academy is an on-site virtual academy with a skills co-ordinator based in Beazley House, next to London Bridge station. It launched in July 2013 and is set to end 2017, with the option of a 1 year extension.
Since launching in July 2013 the academy has trained 532 people:
- 31 Workless Southwark Residents employed onto the project
- 25 Apprentices employed
- 27 work experience placements have taken place
- 262 Training opportunities for main contractor employees
- 186 Training opportunities for subcontractor employees
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