20th January 2018

Knowledge Type

Case study


, Crossrail Ltd

Major Project



Georgina BigamNathan Pascutto

Of Interest To

Public sector clients

Addressing Skills Gaps Through Direct Intervention (TUCA)


A major challenge of Crossrail was to mobilise the large, skilled workforce required to deliver the tunnelling phase of the project. Early on in the project it became apparent that the existing UK industry did not have enough people with the specialist experience and skills necessary to support the project. In addition, the UK did not have existing facilities available to train the workforce. To address this issue, Crossrail established the Tunnelling and Underground Construction Academy (TUCA).

This case study considers the industry skills gap analysis; the facilities required; facility concept to build; training forecasts, curriculum development and provision; training delivery model; facility governance; TUCA’s role in the national skills agenda.

The case study concludes that direct skills intervention should be supported by a robust skills gap analysis and with an effective business case. The case study also concludes that high levels of industry engagement are critical for the effective governance of the facility, ensuring that it continues to meet the ongoing skills needs of the industry.

By the end of 2018/19, it is estimated that TUCA will have generated £49m of Gross Value Added benefits against an initial investment of £12m, which amounts to a 2.3:1 return on investment.

This case study would be of interest to: the infrastructure and construction industries; skills planners and development manager of infrastructure projects; senior managers in the Further and Higher Education sectors; National Colleges; Local Enterprise Partnerships with an interest in specialist employer-led skills provision.