HS2 announces intentions to double investment into graduate recruitment
With the rail industry facing an ageing workforce, HS2 has committed to hiring and developing the skills of more graduates and apprentices in preparation for the future.
HS2 Ltd – the company spearheading the development of the UK’s new low carbon, high-speed railway – has confirmed that it will more than double the number of graduates it welcomes into the business during 2020.
At the launch of its skills, education and employment strategy in September 2018, HS2 Ltd outlined a clear commitment to developing a diverse workforce that addressed the gender and age imbalances that are commonplace across construction and rail engineering.
The company established a future talent network, which set out a year-on-year commitment to ensuring that a percentage of the workforce who will design, construct and deliver HS2 is made up of both graduates and apprentices.
With over a quarter of the UK’s rail engineers aged over 55 and predicted to retire over the next 10 years, investing in future talent is crucial to ensuring that the UK has the skills it needs to support the UK government’s commitment to major infrastructure and transport improvement programmes.
Over 1,000 graduates applied for HS2‘s 2020 programme, and the company took the decision to more than double the number of graduates it will welcome into its Birmingham and London-based teams during 2020, from nine to 21.
The final stages of the recruitment and selection process are now underway and, in October 2020, graduates will join HS2’s engineering, urban design, innovation, environment and commercial development teams.
Karen Davis, HS2’s Talent Manager explained: “The increase in applications we received this year was overwhelming and, with the impacts of COVID-19 widely reported to be adversely affecting young people’s employment prospects, we really wanted to do more. HS2 is committed to providing jobs and helping develop the skills to show off the very best of British engineering. We’ll now welcome 21 graduates and 22 apprentices into HS2 Ltd in September 2020, which is in addition to the opportunities also available with our joint venture partners and across the supply chain.”
At the peak of construction, HS2 will support over 30,000 jobs and at least 2,000 apprenticeship opportunities will be created over the lifecycle of the project. Already over 9,000 people have played a part in taking the project from concept to reality, ahead of major construction work starting on the Birmingham – London section of the route.