The visit, hosted by HS2 and its construction partner Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV), gave Ms Mahmood a glimpse of the work currently underway to prepare for construction of the viaducts that will bring the new railway into Curzon Street Station.
Ms Mahmood heard how over 4,200 people are currently working on contracts supporting the construction of HS2 in the West Midlands, including individuals from her constituency who she met on the day.
27-year-old Michael, who lives in the Jewellery Quarter, explained how his career journey on HS2 has seen him promoted from a General Operative to Store Manager in just six months. A former Iranian refugee, Michael shared the heart-warming story of his move to Birmingham and how he began seeking a new career opportunity after studying for a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering while working part-time in a local fish and chip shop.
After completing a bespoke training course and paid work trial with BBV, Michael quickly transitioned into full time employment working on HS2. His passion and commitment were soon rewarded, and Michael is now part of the team supporting the construction works currently underway at the Curzon Street Station site.
“This job has provided me with the opportunity and security to build my life in Birmingham and support my family.
“In a short space of time I’ve been promoted to Store Manager, which is a huge opportunity. As HS2’s construction programme progresses, I hope there will be further opportunities to develop my career with BBV on this ground-breaking project.”
HS2’s construction is forecast to generate a constant labour demand for the West Midlands of around 10,000 people between now and 2027/28. BBV is actively recruiting for hundreds of new roles to support the design and construction of the 90km section of new railway that it will deliver from Warwickshire into Birmingham city centre and on to Staffordshire.
BBV expects to be one of the biggest recruiters in the region over the coming years and is committed to ensuring that local people benefit from the thousands of employment opportunities it is creating.
Commenting on the visit and the opportunities for her constituents, Shabana Mahmood MP said:
“It was fantastic to visit the Curzon Street Site of the HS2 project here in Birmingham, where I met a number of apprentices who are benefitting from the project and the skills investment that it is bringing to our city.
“I spoke with members of HS2’s delivery team about the new Curzon Street Station and saw the huge amount of work being done to prepare the site for construction.
“It is so important that Britain’s biggest infrastructure project benefits my constituents, ensuring those who live locally will be the first to feel the benefits of HS2 in our city.”
Shilpi Akbar, Head of Stakeholders and Communities at Balfour Beatty VINCI said:
“Attracting new entrants to our industry is critical. As our work continues to gain momentum, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to encouraging and inspiring people across the Midlands to benefit from the opportunities that HS2 presents.
“We’re taking an active approach to recruitment, but with thousands of positions to become available over the duration of the project, we must not – and will not – stop here. It is through our unique training programmes that we can offer the best of the region’s talent a once in a lifetime opportunity to forge their future careers while working to deliver one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects.”
For more information about careers and opportunities working on HS2, visit hs2.org.uk/careers/