A budding engineer has become the 100th person to take up an apprenticeship on one of the most significant infrastructure projects to date, happening under the streets of London.
Callum Davis, 18, has started a civil engineering apprenticeship with Tideway, the company delivering the 25km super sewer tunnel which at 65m deep and the width of three double-decker buses, is the biggest expansion to London’s sewer network since Victorian times.
One in 50 jobs across the Tideway sites is an apprenticeship, and since work started on the super sewer in 2014, apprenticeships have been offered in areas ranging from civil engineering to construction, boatmasters, business administration and digital engineering.
Callum, from Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire, will be working on the east section of the Thames Tideway Tunnel in Bermondsey. He said: “The apprenticeship route is definitely a life-changing career pathway. Learning whilst working alongside colleagues is really valuable experience, as they can pass on key site knowledge and terminology.
"The Thames Tideway Tunnel project has provided me with the opportunity to develop and enhance my knowledge and skills rapidly and I am learning something new every day.”
Scott Young, Tideway’s Head of Skills and Employment, said: “Having offered 100 apprenticeship opportunities on the project so far is a huge milestone for us. We pride ourselves on offering high quality training across a wide-range of disciplines, and helping to create a future generation of construction workers with long-term career options.
"Some of our earliest apprentices have gone on to roles in some of the biggest infrastructure projects, including HS2 and the Lower Thames Crossing, and our programme has ensured they have a solid base from which to progress their careers.”
Tideway and its contractors offer apprenticeships ranging from intermediate, advanced and higher to a degree level. While working on the project, Callum will also complete his Level 6 qualification at the University of East London.
18 apprentices working at Tideway have completed and gone on to either a higher apprenticeship or employment.
One of Tideway’s very first apprentices, Fiona Keenaghan, joined the project in 2014. She reached her Level 5 BEng in Civil Engineering at Tideway, and recently started in a new role at HS2 as a Civil Engineering Technician.
Fiona said: “Throughout my time as a Tideway apprentice, I got to experience working in a number of different teams, learning key skills in design, construction and project management. The experience I gained at Tideway has given me the confidence to move to another major infrastructure project and to progress in my career as a Civil Engineer.”
The organisation building London’s new super sewer also funds the Thames Skills Academy, which is helping to train the next generation of river workers. This will help meet Tideway’s goal to transport 90 per cent of material during construction by river.