HS2 encourage more women to consider a career in construction

Marking International Women’s Day, HS2 and its construction partners are hosting initiatives to encourage more women to start a career in construction.

HS2 Women

Credit: HS2

To mark International Women’s Day, HS2 and its construction partners are hosting several local initiatives to encourage more women to step forward and consider a career in construction and engineering. With a workforce of over 20,000 already in place, and over 34,000 jobs expected to be supported during the life span of the project, HS2 recognises it has a vital role to play in supporting more women to feel empowered to start a career in construction.

Through its partnership with not-for-profit organisation, Women into Construction, HS2 has created bespoke training and work placement taster opportunities, which led to sustainable employment in the construction sector for local women in the West Midlands. Now with its construction partner, Balfour Beatty VINCI, HS2 is seeking to build on that success by encouraging more women to discover if a career in construction might be for them.

“For many women, a career in construction isn’t something they might ever have considered,” Julie Venn-Morton, Skills Manager for the West Midlands region at HS2, said. “By providing access to free training and paid work placements, we are able to support women of all ages to discover what it is really like to work in construction and showcase the variety of career pathways this can open up for them in the future.”

Since the opening of its Birmingham-based Skills Academy in November, Balfour Beatty VINCI, in partnership with South and City College, has been encouraging more women to take advantage of the free training and support available. Training courses provide individuals with the skills and accreditation needed to begin working in a safe and supportive environment on HS2 construction sites. All programmes are bespoke and, regardless of skills or experience, participants can progress onto a paid work trial and job interview within just four to six weeks.

“Through our work to deliver Britain’s new high-speed railway, we are making significant strides in changing the face of the construction and infrastructure industry; putting in place comprehensive and accessible training schemes to encourage new entrants to the industry,” Shilpi Akbar, Head of Stakeholders and Communities for Balfour Beatty VINCI, said. “As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we continue to take an active approach to the recruitment of women of all ages; providing those who join us with the opportunity to expand their skills and knowledge whilst working on one of the most exciting infrastructure schemes the UK has ever seen.”

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