Latest Rail News

15.07.20

HS2 virtual work experience for young people

As part of their dedicated programme of school engagement and education activity, HS2 offers work experience placements to students every year to help them get first-hand experience of life in the workplace on Europe’s largest engineering project.

Usually students would spend one full week at HS2’s offices, where they are allocated a mentor and given the chance to work within the departments aligned to their areas of interest and career goals.

HS2 has supported over 100 students since 2017 and provided placements in its engineering, environment and business support teams, which appears to be the most popular choice amongst young people.

To make sure no pupils miss out due to the Covid-19 outbreak, HS2 have altered their programme and worked in corporation with Speakers for Schools and the Social Mobility Foundation, to provide students with week-long virtual work experience placements.

Twenty young people joined the programme in the first week, with 10 male and 10 female students joining colleagues in HS2’s virtual teams. Pupils from Camden and Hillingdon were amongst the ten London boroughs to take part in the first session, with further programmes spreading out to young people from the West Midlands to Tyne and Wear in the North East.

Richard Winter, HS2 Ltd’s Education Manager said: “40 students aged 16-18 were due to join us over the summer for their annual work experience placement. This is a such a valuable and important part of their education and personal development that we were determined to pull out the stops and make it happen.

“Being part of a team in a professional environment, learning about different roles and responsibilities and developing essential skills, is highly valuable and not something you can easily replicate in a classroom environment”.

Allan Cook, HS2 Ltd Chairman said: “Young people have potentially missed out on a huge amount as a result of the pandemic, so our priority was to deliver on the commitment we had made to provide annual work experience opportunities.

“HS2 is a railway for future generations, so it’s absolutely right that we put young people at the heart of it. Creating opportunities which inspire young people to be the engineers, ecologists and leaders of the future is exactly what we set out to achieve in our Skills, Employment and Education Strategy, and I’m delighted to have played a part in it”.

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