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HS2 launches ‘Empowering Communities’ initiative

HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson, has today (July 17th) launched a momentous social legacy programme to be delivered by HS2 London contractors SCS called ‘Empowering Communities,’ hoped to benefit communities along the final part of the HS2 route into London.

First of its kind, ‘Empowering Communities’ is to be led by the construction industry, working in partnership with HS2 Ltd, bringing together the strengths of major construction companies Costain, Skanska, STRABAG, Mace, Dragados and Arup.

The scheme aims to generate jobs for those experiencing joblessness or homelessness, help young people to grow new STEM skills and access apprenticeships, and support community projects.

Working in collaboration with local communities, the partner organisations will allow local people to have a say in what the programme brings for their communities.

‘Empowering Communities’ is already seeing their work pay off and has provided Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) education support to over 11,000 young people across seven London boroughs.

The programme has also created jobs for more than 200 previously unemployed people and supported nine homeless people into work on the HS2 project.

HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson MP said: “This fantastic initiative highlights how being a good neighbour doesn’t just mean minimising the impact an infrastructure project has on local communities, it’s about maximising the benefits to the surrounding areas.

“The Empowering Communities programme will help unleash the enormous potential of communities on the HS2 route – addressing social issues such as homelessness and unemployment and creating a legacy of jobs, skills and community initiatives for the people and places along the line.”

HS2 Chief Executive Officer, Mark Thurston said: “As we build Britain’s new low carbon railway, there will be lots of opportunities for local communities to get involved in the project. Our contractors are leading the way in creating career opportunities for local people, and providing benefits to communities all across the route, creating a legacy for generations to come.”

Louise Dailly, Head of Legacy at Costain Skanska joint venture said: “This joined-up approach enables us to deliver more together than we could individually, boosting outcomes for local people and laying the foundations for innovative and powerful outcomes that the community can continue long after we leave the area.

“Empowering communities works closely with vulnerable groups, including refugees, people with previous convictions and young people who have been in care. By targeting harder to reach groups alongside wider goals to support skills, employment and education, homelessness, young people and equality diversity and inclusion, Empowering Communities really can offer everyone an opportunity to succeed.”

Images: HS2 


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