The Last Word

04.11.16

HS2 – The biggest single source of new jobs in UK infrastructure

Ailie MacAdam, Bechtel’s rail sector lead and a director of High Speed Rail Industry Leaders (HSRIL), comments on the job opportunities that HS2 offers and the economic benefits the project will bring.

It’s official… HS2 is coming, and it’s bringing with it a bonanza of jobs. At the Conservative Party Conference, prime minister Theresa May confirmed the government would “press ahead” with Britain’s new north-south line. This news is wholly welcomed by the industry. 

A recent report, carried out by Albion Economics and published by HSRIL, forecast that the HS2 project will employ 27,000 people throughout the supply chain by 2020 – making it by far and away the biggest single source of new jobs in the UK infrastructure sector. 

Two-thirds of these roles will be in construction, with the remaining one-third made up of designers and management roles. Of these jobs, more than half – some 14,400 – will be created by the contracts already out to tender from HS2. This is a project that can deliver tangible economic benefits, and fast. 

A substantial proportion of roles created by the HS2 project will take the form of apprenticeships. If apprenticeship levels are achieved at the levels suggested by the Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy, then we would expect HS2 Phase 1 to support between 5,000 and 9,000 apprenticeships. This will make one of the biggest apprenticeship schemes ever created in the UK. 

The National High Speed Rail College, based in Birmingham and Doncaster, has a key role to play in developing and training young people for these opportunities. This type of investment in young people is crucial. HS2 will be part of the biggest investment in our skills base in decades, nurturing a new generation of world-class engineers and experts across a range of sectors, and creating exportable products and services which will boost the economy. 

HSRIL member companies are working extensively with schools, colleges and universities to ensure that key STEM subjects are addressing the needs of the industry before career choices are made, and to promote the rail and construction sectors as appealing and attractive career paths to school and university applicants. 

Investment in Britain’s young people will allow the UK to build on world-class expertise, cementing our status as a global hub for engineering, infrastructure excellence and architecture. 

Creating these new jobs will help to stimulate economic growth across Britain. There is widespread consensus that investment in HS2 will offer a huge return to the economy, ensuring that taxpayers see value for money. 

Even on the most cautious assumptions the DfT ‘Strategic Case’ states that HS2’s “annual benefit could be £8bn”. Additionally, while all regions benefit, “city-regions in the Midlands and the north do particularly well”. 

Due to the high level of investment, ensuring that HS2 is delivered as efficiently as possible is critical. The expertise to design, construct and deliver HS2 lies here in the UK. When you look at the expertise of the HSRIL member companies, their skills base in the UK and their commitment to innovation and technology, it is obvious that the industry is ready to deliver this vital upgrade to our nation’s infrastructure. 

We have gained valuable experience from recent large-scale capital projects like Thameslink, IEP, Crossrail and HS1. Those involved will bring that knowledge and expertise to HS2. 

HSRIL members already have huge experience of delivering high-speed rail projects all over the world. They do this from bases in Britain, using UK talent. Britain designs and builds high-speed railways for the world; now it is time to deploy that expertise at home. The track record of companies in the UK is established beyond doubt and HSRIL members are committed to working with HS2 and government to make it happen.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an RTM columnist? If so, click here.

Comments

Emily   03/03/2017 at 16:29

HS2 is going full steam ahead especially now they are seeking the latest rolling stock. https://www.smartrailworld.com/britains-hs2-project-is-seeking-the-worlds-most-advanced-rolling-stock

Add your comment

 

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

Probe launched into SWR and NR performance

26/04/2018Probe launched into SWR and NR performance

An independent review into South Western Railway’s (SWR) performance has been commissioned by the government. Transport secretary, Chris G... more >
Half of London Tube and train journeys made with contactless

25/04/2018Half of London Tube and train journeys made with contactless

Half of all Tube and rail pay as you go journeys are regularly made using contactless payment or mobile devices, the latest figures from TfL have r... more >
High-speed handbacks could save NR £250,000 a week

25/04/2018High-speed handbacks could save NR £250,000 a week

New approaches to engineering could potentially save £250,000 a week by allowing trains to run at higher speeds once work is complete, Networ... more >
Government must commit to investment in rail freight connections to ports

25/04/2018Government must commit to investment in rail freight connections to ports

Better connections between English ports could boost the nation’s economy, a new study has shown. The study of England’s port connec... more >

comment

UKRIA 2018 Apology & Statement

04/04/2018UKRIA 2018 Apology & Statement

It is with deep regret that I address the disappointing content in both of our live acts at UKRIA on Thursday 22nd March 2018 and offer my most s... more >
Smart ticketing: The way ahead

13/03/2018Smart ticketing: The way ahead

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), runs through the nationwide progress in rolling out ... more >
A benchmark year for HS2

13/03/2018A benchmark year for HS2

Jim Crawford, managing director of Phase 1 at HS2 Ltd, discusses the many critical activities set to take place this year as the mammoth high-spe... more >
The north has a plan

13/03/2018The north has a plan

There has always been an incredible thirst for change in the north. Now, there is finally a plan robust and forward-thinking enough to make it ha... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. Chris Leech MBE, business community manager at the... more > more last word articles >

interviews

Transforming travel in the north west

06/02/2018Transforming travel in the north west

RTM’s Josh Mines talks to Robin Davis, head of new trains at TransPennine Express (TPE), about the huge rolling stock change journey the co... more >
Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

23/01/2018Thameslink: Nearing the end of the line

RTM’s Josh Mines catches up with Mark Somers, project director for Thameslink, on how the final stages of the programme are progressing and... more >
Modernising journeys in north east England

09/11/2017Modernising journeys in north east England

First Hull Trains is about to embark on the biggest fleet overhaul it has delivered since being set up in 2000. Managing director Will Dunnett te... more >

rail industry focus

View all News

'the sleepers' daily blog

How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

20/03/2018How biometrics can help improve health and safety measures on railway construction projects

ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE Biometric identity, time and attendance specialists Donseed looks at how biometric technology is already starting to enh... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >