Transport Minister visits Hayes factory working hard to complete Crossrail

A Hayes factory is working round the clock in order to help construct phase two of the Crossrail project by the end of this year.

Transport Minister Lord Ahmad paid Lee Warren Fabrication and Design Ltd a visit to meet apprentices and see the manufacturing process Friday (July 17).

Lee Warren is a family-run small and medium enterprise (SME) contracted to design, manufacture and install platform screens at the Bond Street Crossrail station.

Lord Ahmad said: "I met three different apprentices with different backgrounds... I think the exciting opportunity here is how we're taking young people who might not have thought about a particular role within the scope of manufacturing or engineering and that we're actually reviving that through projects such as Crossrail."

He toured the workshop floor and viewed a full-size mock-up of the Bond Street platform edge screen, before meeting some of the company’s current and former apprentices.

The company’s contract with Crossrail has supported over 50 jobs and seven apprenticeships for local workers and young people.

Speaking of the Lee Warren factory, Lord Ahmad added: “I they have the kind of ethos we need for more companies involved in these kind of projects.

“Taking apprentices on shouldn't be a tick-box exercise to fulfil some Government criteria, it's about taking people on who are enthused, eager to learn, to ensure they get the training both on the job and in the classroom so they can actually skill themselves up to the benefit of the company and ultimately for the benefit of the country as well.

“We've got a living, working example with that we've seen today.”

Lee Warren has 50-60 employees working on the construction, including the installation team.

Following the completion of tunnelling in June, Crossrail has now moved into the next phase including the fit-out of stations, tunnels and platforms to make the line operational.

Alex Pollock, production director of Lee Warren, said: “We built the mock-up six weeks ago and will be entering full production by the middle of next week and will continue right through to November, working 24-hours a day, seven-days a week.”

One of the apprentices, Ryan Levin, came through the Crossrail scheme and has been at the Lee Warren factory for around a year.

He said: “The scheme gave me great opportunities. It gave me the chance to learn, grow and develop while earning some money at the same time. I came with very little skills in this kind of engineering and over the year and I've been developing a great standard of work.

“I hope to keep developing myself and go on the the next Level 3 college course and work my way up from there. It's fantastic and I know it's great to be involved in such a great company such as Lee Warren and it's a great opportunity.”

Crossrail's full services will begin in 2019. It will increase the capacity of the capital’s transport network with 200m passengers expected to use the service every year.

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