Highways England has launched a new recruitment drive to find the first cohort of apprentices to join the ambitious Lower Thames Crossing project, the single largest road investment scheme in 35 years.  

Local people based near the proposed scheme are being encouraged to help Highways England in the search for six project management apprentices to join the project this year. 

The proposed Lower Thames Crossing has an important role in the country’s economic recovery by supporting over 22,000 jobs during its construction, including hundreds of apprentices and graduates. When it opens for traffic it will add billions to the economy by creating a direct and reliable connection between people and jobs, and the region’s ports and freeports, distribution hubs and manufacturing centres.  

This is the first of many intakes of apprentices planned over the development and construction of the project. They will be studying level 4 project management from September, and support delivery of infrastructure ranging from the longest road tunnels in the UK and new roads, to public pathways, green bridges and new parks and forest.  

The apprentices will complete the Higher National Certifications qualifications, equivalent to a Foundation Degree, while being paid a salary and gaining valuable on-the-job experience. As these are higher apprenticeships, applicants will need to have either A-Levels or a Level 3 NVQ or BTEC equivalent qualification or relevant experience.  

The deadline for applications is Friday, 19 March.  

Shaun Pidcock, Thames Crossing Programme Director, said:  

“The Lower Thames Crossing is the most ambitious road project since the M25 was built 35 years ago. By connecting people to jobs and businesses to customers, we will add billions to the economy and play an important part in the Government’s plan to level up the UK. But perhaps more critically, we can help the country as it recovers from Covid, and support the Government’s plans to build back better, by supporting over 22,000 jobs during the construction.  

“We have ambitious plans to build for the future, for which we need driven and hard-working people with a “can do” attitude on our team. That’s why we’ll be creating hundreds of apprenticeships to support local learning and development. These are the first of many incredible opportunities to not only gain the skills and expertise required for delivering a project of this scale, but to be either the first or next big step in building long and rewarding careers.” 

Highways England is committed to nurturing local talent that will not only support delivery of the project, but also the long-term needs and aspirations of the community. The current vacancies have been shared with Kent, Thurrock, Essex and the London Borough of Havering as well as sent directly to schools and colleges near the proposed route.  

Highways England also opened their annual recruitment drive for apprentices last month (February 2021) where they began to advertise roles from across the country to join their apprenticeship programme. 

Highways England initially submitted its application for a Development Consent Order in October 2020 following many years of design development and a record-breaking programme of consultation resulting in over 90,000 responses. The application was withdrawn to provide more technical information and share further information with local stakeholders and will be resubmitted later this year.   The current vacancies will be supported by Highways England regardless of the outcome of the planning process.