Crossrail names apprentice of the year

17 March 2014

A former self-employed labourer who was struggling to find work during the difficult economic times has been named apprentice of the year after winning the Crossrail award in early March at the Houses of Parliament.

Rudy Nieddu, 28, from Forest Hill works at Crossrail's Whitechapel site as an apprentice civil engineering technician with Balfour Beatty. Nieddu was presented with his award by Crossrail chairman Terry Morgan in front of more than 100 guests. The ceremony was opened by Lord Deighton, commercial secretary to HM Treasury.

After receiving his award, Nieddu said: "I'm stunned. It was one thing just to be nominated but to go on and win is rather special. I'd been self-employed as an electrical labourer before and there were times when the work just wasn't there so you don't get paid. This role has given me stability and allows me to start planning ahead."

Morgan added: "I'd like to offer my congratulations to Rudy and all of our nominated apprentices. Crossrail has achieved significant success in providing opportunities for young people and we want to set an example for the sector to follow. Many of Crossrail's apprentices have experienced unemployment, but now are gaining skills that can set them up for life. I started my career as an apprentice, I wasn't particularly studious at school and now several decades later, it is a pleasure to be recognising the efforts of the new generation of apprentices."

More than 280 apprentices are working on Crossrail and the project is on track to deliver its target of at least 400 apprenticeships during the construction of the new railway, the company stated.