HS2 marks National Apprenticeship Week by recruiting new apprentices
With 30 new apprentices set to join the business in September 2021, HS2 is making progress in delivering on its promise to create 2,000 apprenticeships over the project’s lifetime.
Credit: HS2 Ltd/Jeremy de Souza.
‘Build the Future’ is the theme marking the 14th annual celebration of apprenticeships in the UK, and HS2 is showing its support by recruiting more young talent onto Europe’s biggest engineering project.
Britain’s new railway has already supported 518 new apprentice starts, and its promise to create 2,000 apprenticeships over the project’s lifetime edges a step closer during National Apprenticeship Week (8 February to 14 February 2021) as the recruitment window opens once again.
HS2 Ltd will be directly recruiting for 30 new apprentices to join the business in September 2021. Roles will be based at offices and satellite locations between Birmingham and London, with apprenticeship opportunities available in the following business areas:
- Project Management
- Procurement and Supply Chain
- Software Development
- Business Administration
- Internal Audit
- Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability
- Customer Service
The diversity of the roles demonstrates the broad range of opportunities that huge infrastructure projects like HS2 create, with career pathways also suited to those who aren’t looking for a traditional site-based, construction-focused job.
Karen Davis, HS2 Ltd’s Talent Manager said: “Whether starting out in your career or looking for a change in direction, an apprenticeship with HS2 offers an unrivalled opportunity to play a part in revolutionising our railways, transforming towns and cities and supporting Britain’s economic growth. Our apprenticeships span a broad range of sectors and combine hands-on learning with part-time study. The ability to earn, learn and work alongside some of the very best in the field generates a huge demand for our apprenticeships, and I’m delighted that we’re set to welcome 30 more new starters later this year.”
HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson, said: “HS2 is at the heart of the government’s plans to build back better, and is already unleashing jobs and opportunities for hundreds of apprentices across the country. Every apprentice on this vital project is not only boosting their own career and gaining skills, but is playing a valuable part in transforming this country, building better connections between our towns and cities and driving economic growth.”
HS2’s main works contractors are also recruiting and creating new apprenticeship roles which are ideally suited to those who do want to get closer to the design, delivery and construction processes.
Balfour Beatty VINCI, HS2’s construction partner for the West Midlands, is recruiting for five Apprentice Laboratory Technicians and a Technology Data Apprentice, whilst Eiffage Kier Ferrovial BAM (EKFB) is recruiting for a Cost Apprentice, who will prepare work packages for potential subcontracts and use 3D models and the latest technology to manage schedule cost and performance data.
Apprenticeships with HS2 Ltd and its construction partners have proven to be a popular choice for people of all ages, with or without previous experience. HS2 Ltd’s roles are open to those aged 16 and over, making them an obvious choice for school and college leavers looking to take their first step into the world of work.
But, as 45-year-old Karen Moffat explains, apprenticeships aren’t just for teenagers. Karen, who is studying for a Business Administration apprenticeship with Align joint venture, said: “My background is in retail and, after having a knee replacement and mobility issues, I worked with the Shaw Trust who help people with disabilities get into work. When they told me about this role, I thought that I was too old to be an apprentice, but they said no, it doesn’t work like that. I applied, got offered the position and here I am. At my age, I didn’t think that there was a possibility of changing my career path; I thought that I was stuck with what I knew. I was surviving on Universal Credit, with the help of food banks. But the apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to come into a completely different world. I realised that there are people who are willing to overlook things like a disability. My apprenticeship means so much to me because it’s given me hope.”
HS2 set out its commitment to invest in young people, upskill its workforce and ensure that the UK has a pipeline of future talent when it launched its Skills, Employment and Education Strategy back in 2018. It challenged its main works construction partners to ensure that four per cent of its workforce are apprentices and set robust targets to support work experience and curriculum-focused activities in schools to ensure that local communities are well placed to benefit from the opportunities that the project creates over the next 20 years.
As an extension of its support for National Apprenticeship Week and 2021’s ‘Build the Future’ theme, HS2 Ltd and its contractors are participating in a number of local careers fairs and holding online workshops and live chat sessions for those who may be considering whether an apprenticeship is right for them.
The Skanska Constrain STRABAG joint venture is hosting a daily programme of activity, including live chat sessions with its apprentices and a workshop session to provide tips and guidance on writing CVs and preparing for job interviews.
The Balfour Beatty Vinci Systra (BBVS) joint venture is partnering with schools in Brent, Ealing and Hammersmith and Fulham to provide information about apprenticeship opportunities at HS2’S Old Oak Common site.
The Align, Fusion and SCS joint ventures are teaming up with Bucks Skills Hub to deliver a live Q&A session on 10 February 2021. Apprentices from their Civil Engineering, Health and Safety and Quantity Surveying teams will share their experiences of studying for an apprenticeship and working on HS2.