By 2020, HS2 will have supported 15,000 new jobs
The new high-speed railway will benefit a whole generation of engineers, designers, architects and geologists, with 30,000 jobs supported in total.
HS2 Ltd has launched its Skills Strategy, which confirms that over 7,000 roles are already supported by the project and that over 2,000 businesses have already won work with HS2.
HS2 sets out its programme of skills, employment and education interventions that will ensure the UK not only has the skills to deliver the HS2 project, but to become a worldwide leader in high-speed rail.
As HS2 moves to the construction phase, the number of roles supported has been forecasted to reach 15,000. Over 7,000 roles are already supported by the project and with construction starting in 2019, many more jobs around the country will help build a skills base to export around the world.
Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, said: “Our skills strategy shows how we will create a sustainable pipeline of jobs and skills for companies across the whole country, which boost regional economies and help Britain compete internationally.
“Our programme will tackle the skills challenges faced by the wider transport infrastructure sector and ensure the UK has the best skills to deliver HS2 as well as major infrastructure projects in the future.”
New initiatives will be introduced over the next 12 months to stimulate interest in STEM subjects and encourage more young people into transport infrastructure related careers. Opportunities will be opened up through a new Job Brokerage Service to help people access the jobs created by the HS2 supply chain and a new Secondary Education Engagement Programme will inspire the next generation to enter transport infrastructure careers.
HS2 Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP, said: “HS2 will provide the backbone of our future rail network and is already driving jobs and economic growth across the country. HS2 is building the talented workforce of the future that this transformative project needs. The ambitious programme of skills, employment and education will see the economic benefits of HS2 fully realised across the UK, boosting productivity and sharing prosperity across the country.”
Through HS2 contracts, there are already hundreds of businesses creating opportunities for their workforce. Explore Manufacturing, part of the Laing O’Rourke group, has won a contract with LM joint venture to supply major bridges as part of the early works on Phase One of the project.
The modular components will be manufactured at Explore Industrial Park in Workshop, North Nottinghamshire and then brought to site in the West Midlands for assembly.
Alan Clucas, Director of Explore Manufacturing, said: “We are proud to be working on the biggest rail infrastructure programmes in the country. For Explore Manufacturing it means a significant contribution in digital design and high quality off-site manufacturing, which shortens time needed on site and has big benefits in safety, efficiency and programme costs.
Richard Kirkham, LM Project Director, said: “By working on the HS2 project, and linking to the National College for High Speed Rail with four apprenticeships, as well as other schools and college liaison across the region, we’re giving local people the opportunity to gain world class skills and knowledge, create a sustainable pipeline of jobs, and be in a great position to win future work with large-scale infrastructure projects.”
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association, said: “It is clear that UK railways will make a major contribution to UK plc, both its economy and connectivity, in the years ahead. This exciting news from HS2 shows that major infrastructure projects don’t just enhance the rail network for its customers – whether passengers or freight – but they also provide a huge boost to jobs and GVA in local economies and around the country. The rail supply community is already actively working on HS2 and we stand ready – working in partnership with HS2 Ltd, the Government and all rail industry members and stakeholders – to deliver even more for this transformational project in the months and years ahead.”