As HS2 – Britain’s new high speed railway and the Government’s flagship levelling-up project – enters its main phase of construction, HS2 Ltd, the company building the new railway, and the UK Government are proud to celebrate the enormous jobs boom that the project has brought to the West Midlands.
A workforce of over 27,000 are now supporting HS2’s construction, spread across 350 sites between London, the Midlands and the North West. Of that 27,000, a brilliant 6,838 people are employed in the West Midlands, helping to build the new stations at Curzon Street in the centre of Birmingham and Interchange in Solihull, as well as miles of track, tunnels and viaducts in-between.
But it’s not just jobs for HS2, supporting the unemployed into meaningful careers is an absolute priority of Britain’s biggest infrastructure project. As part of our effort to ensure HS2 creates a lasting skills legacy, we’ve so far helped 2,200 people who were formerly unemployed into work with our construction partners and companies. That includes 539 previously out of work people who live in the West Midlands.
To date, HS2 has welcomed over 950 new apprentice starts, putting it firmly on track to meet its target of creating 2,000 apprenticeships. Of those 950, 344 live and study in the West Midlands. And as construction gathers pace, the breadth of apprenticeship programmes HS2 provides has expanded. In addition to roles in project management, engineering, and quantity surveying, HS2 has created new roles this year in cyber security, land referencing and health, safety and the environment.
Rebecca Young, Skills and Employment Strategy Manager at HS2 Ltd said:
“Long before HS2 trains start arriving in the West Midlands, Britain’s biggest infrastructure project is delivering for the region. Just under 7,000 people living in the West Midlands have found jobs with HS2, plus hundreds of formerly unemployed helped into work, and apprenticeships and T-Levels helping to train the country’s next generation of engineers, builders and more. HS2 is the UK’s flagship Levelling Up project and we remain committed to driving investment and opportunities into the West Midlands.”
HS2 also supports T-Level students, by sponsoring their placements, and partners with local universities to ensure graduates have direct pathways into employment in their specialist field, whether that’s civil engineering, design or IT. Recently, HS2’s West Midlands construction partner, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV), confirmed that it will join forces with three more colleges to increase the number of industry placements it offers to T-Level students. Over 30 young people in Solihull, Dudley, Wolverhampton and Walsall will get to play a part in HS2’s construction as part of their studies.
HS2’s online jobs board www.hs2.org.uk/supply-chain-jobs, offers those looking for work or a change of career, the opportunity to search the very latest vacancies with HS2’s construction partners and station contractors. There are currently over 170 live vacancies based within the West Midlands region.