As preparations accelerate for HS2, rail bosses say the high-speed railway will benefit a whole generation of engineers, designers, architects and geologists, with 30,000 jobs expected to be supported in total at peak construction along with a further 2,000 apprentices.
The organisation has set out its programme of skills, employment and education interventions with more than 7,000 roles said to be already supported by the project along with over 2,000 businesses winning work on the network.
HS2 Ltd claim the UK not only has the skills to deliver the project but it has the potential to become a worldwide leader in high speed rail ahead of the main construction next year.
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.
Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2 Ltd, said: “Our skills strategy, launched today, 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.”
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 company’s Explore Manufacturing factory in Worksop is preparing to produce precast elements for five major bridges with 35 jobs due to be created to deliver the order.
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.”
HS2 minister, Nusrat Ghani, added: “HS2 will provide the backbone of our future rail network and is already driving jobs and economic growth across the country. HS2 already supports over 7,000 jobs, forecast to reach around 15,000 by 2020, and is building the talented workforce of the future that this transformative project needs.”