HS2 jobs in numbers as rail line stays on track to take on 2,000 apprentices

HS2 builders Balfour Beatty VINCI have teamed up with a Warwickshire college to offer more free ‘off the shelf’ training programs. Warwickshire College Group is one of five continuing education organizations to be added to the growing list of institutions involved in the project.

Birmingham Metropolitan College, Walsall College, Solihull College and University Center and City of Wolverhampton College have also partnered with BBV, HS2’s construction partner for the West Midlands and Warwickshire. At least 600 new recruits will be trained and move on to paid work trials under the new skills and learning scheme.

The move follows in the footsteps of BBV’s partnership with South and City College Birmingham, which led to the creation of a dedicated skills academy in Birmingham to upskill those who are unemployed or looking for a new career. And this comes after HS2 announced that its total number of apprentices has passed the 900 mark, meaning the project is on track to meet its goal of 2,000 apprentice debuts.

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Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2 Ltd, said: “2022 is shaping up to be a huge year for HS2. Our expanding workforce reflects the scale of the progress we are making in delivering Britain’s new railway and supporting the government’s drive to achieve net zero, level the country and build back better after the pandemic.

“With all three phases of the project currently underway and two decades of construction work ahead of us, the scale of opportunity for individuals and businesses on HS2 across the UK continues to grow at pace.” Each of the five colleges added to HS2’s list of educational associates will offer bespoke online training programs with the core skills BBV needs to support its network construction locally, from securing steel to formwork and placing the concrete.

Angela Joyce, CEO of Warwickshire College Group, said the partnership offered a “unique opportunity” for people in Warwickshire looking to retrain. “The Government’s Strategic Development Fund has enabled us to develop and deliver fantastic training resources and the skills our local communities need to be able to work on the HS2 project and with Balfour Beatty VINCI,” she said. .



Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2, at the tunnel under Long Itchington Wood in Warwickshire

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said the expansion of the BBV Skills Academy, to ‘work hand in hand with even more of our colleges’ was ‘fantastic news’. “It is vitally important to the future of the West Midlands that we ensure our employees are effectively connected to the right training opportunities so they can get the skills they need to get the high quality jobs. and well paid they deserve,” he said. said.

“The HS2 Skills Academy is exactly the right kind of initiative to enable us to do just that, with the jobs created by HS2 being a key part of my 100,000 jobs plan.” Opponents of the scheme in Warwickshire, where vast swaths of countryside are being shuffled to make way for the first phase of the route, say they are worst hit by the construction of a service which will have no lasting benefit for them.

Proponents of the controversial line say it will produce a myriad of positive results. As well as its main aim of speeding up rail travel between London, Birmingham and Manchester, which forms part of the government’s ‘leveling up’ scheme, the scheme is working to ‘create a pool of talent which will drive the UK’s major infrastructure projects of the future”. and leave a lasting legacy of skills.



Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands

Here are some numbers associated with HS2 and the job opportunities it is supposed to provide:

24,800 – Jobs now supporting the construction of the high-speed rail line

7,000 – Jobs that BBV intends to support through its work program

2,515 – UK companies now involved in the supply chain

2,000 – People started working with HS2 in the first quarter of 2022

1,000+ – Unemployed people across the country started working after enrolling in accelerated training programs at dedicated skills academies



The rear of the Dorothy tunnel boring machine from a viewing platform at the HS2 site near Bascote in Warwickshire
The rear of the Dorothy tunnel boring machine from a viewing platform at the HS2 site near Bascote in Warwickshire

923 – The apprentice begins

400 – Unemployed people in the West Midlands have now found jobs on HS2

300 – Sites between London and the West Midlands where civil construction is underway

76 – British companies won contracts in the last round

61 – Percentage of 2,515 companies in the supply chain are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

20 – Months since the start of full construction work on the first phase of the project, linking London Euston to Birmingham

For more information on HS2 vacancies, visit hs2.org.uk/careers

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