Whitechapel Station Transformation

Project brief

This project was a whole station upgrade to ensure the outdated station was ready for new Crossrail services. The plans were among the most architecturally ambitious across the entire Crossrail project with key design elements including preserving the existing heritage station entrance with a more spacious forecourt area; a new ticket hall and larger concourse built above the London Overground tracks; a new pedestrian walkway providing a safe route for local residents; and a more integrated station layout allowing easy, step-free interchanges between Crossrail, London Underground and London Overground.

Thanks to its extensive experience in the sector and impressive talent reach, Mane was contracted to supply professionals for a joint venture between four very large, well-known companies: Balfour Beatty, BeMo Tunnelling, Morgan Sindall and Vinci Construction, collectively known as BBMV. Mane currently has around 50 professionals on site, supplying predominantly electrical skilled tradespersons but also rail-specific critical staffing, design and commissioning managers and civils supervisors.

Mane has now been working on this project for four and a half years as a preferred supplier of electrical labour. Over this time, the client has tried to use other recruiters – which didn’t live up to their expectations. Mane is now completely ingrained in the project, and the works themselves.

The primary reason for Mane’s success on this project is the fact that a lot of the work on site is carried out on a ‘possession’ basis – over weekends, for example – when other competitors simply can’t source the staff required for those shifts. Mane has the talent reach to do that. The client may call on a Friday afternoon looking for 40 staff for the next day – Mane always delivers. This strength can be attributed to the experience and relationship of consultants on the desk – which is a rarity in recruitment: the head of the division has been with the company for 12 years. Others on the team are qualified tradespeople themselves so really know the market. Consultants nurture their own talent pools, and contractors know and trust the brand.

Although there is a risk that jobs such as this can become complex due to the influence of the unions, Mane’s high level of compliance and delivery means there have never been any issues.  Contractors on site are directly employed through PAYE to satisfy Crossrail’s regulations, with Mane taking responsibility for tickets and training. Although this job is not due to complete until Spring 2019, the client has been very impressed by the service it has received from Mane to date.

 “Mane Contract Services have been engaged on C512 Whitechapel Main Station works since December 2013, initially as a supplier of mechanical and electrical possession staffing for the project. We would often require 20+ contractors for weekends. Mane was able to mobilise this amount and more at very short notice, sometimes with less than 24 hours, which added a benefit to using their services.

I have always found the service that Mane provides to be efficient and professional with the ability to match the requirements of the projects with the personnel they provide. I would not hesitate in recommending Mane as a supplier of quality staffing to any rail project, the often high demand on turnaround times on the staff we request would indicate a good quality, readily available and relevant talent pool. This, coupled with good levels of communication and efficient service means I will be using Mane for the foreseeable future.”

  • Steven Lytton, M&E Project Manager, BBMV 
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