Worker at HS2 site

HS2 boosts job opportunities for young people in the West Midlands

After seeing great success with it’s first youth unemployment scheme, HS2’s West Midlands construction partner, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV), is searching for the next cohort of young people to join it’s Kickstart programme.

Earlier this year, 15 young people joined BBV’s Kickstart scheme and are now valued members of the team delivering key parts of HS2 in the West Midlands.

Following that success, BBV has committed to creating more opportunities for young people in the West Midlands, Warwickshire and Staffordshire and has started recruiting for new roles, specifically ringfenced to those who are currently unemployed.

The programme takes advantage of the government-funded Kickstart scheme, which offers companies financial support in exchange for creating job placements and opportunities for those aged 16-24 who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment.

Spawned out of the relief efforts to support those affected by the pandemic, placements are for six months, and participants are paid a salary equivalent to the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage.

The scheme has recently been extended to March 2022, allowing organisations like BBV look to recruit another group of young people.

Julie Venn Morton, HS2 Ltd’s Skills Manager for the West Midlands, said: “This is a fantastic opening for young people who are eager to get on the career ladder. Securing a paid placement on Europe’s biggest infrastructure project really is an amazing opportunity.”

Balfour Beatty VINCI’s new Kickstart placements show the breadth of opportunity that a career in construction can offer. The vacancies it is currently recruiting include engineering support assistants and administration support roles in HR, Finance and Resourcing. The jobs will based in Birmingham, North and South Warwickshire and Lichfield.

Shilpi Akbar, Head of Stakeholders and Communities at Balfour Beatty VINCI, added: “We’re recruiting for thousands of roles across the Midlands over the next two years, and we want to ensure that young people, especially those who are currently out of work, are given every opportunity to benefit and secure employment on HS2.

“Our Kickstart scheme is a fantastic way to begin building your skills, confidence and experience and we hope that candidates will be inspired to consider a long-term career in the sector.”

The new Kickstart placements are set to begin in the autumn, with the application process now open.

Young people who are interested in applying and meet the specified criteria (16-24 years old and claiming Universal Credit) should speak to their work coach at their local job centre.

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