As the works for HS2 progress, so does the availability to join their consistently growing workforce, whether it be from an opportunity within their apprenticeship scheme, or the recruitment of experienced industry staff. In the 20 months since full construction works began on phase 1, HS2 is currently on track to reach its target of 2,000 apprenticeships.
923 apprentices have now benefitted from HS2’s investment in their career development, as the project strives to create a talent pool that will drive forward the UK’s major infrastructure projects of the future and leave a lasting skills legacy. As the rail infrastructure in the UK expands, it is vital to incorporate these opportunities into the sector to ensure stable growth and job stability for the future of rail.
In the last quarter, the overall workforce of HS2 has increased to Britain’s new railway record of 24,800, after the addition of over 2,000 new roles being added. The need for these new positions stems from the civils construction works underway at over 300 sites between the West Midlands and London, and the Bill submitted to Parliament to extend the high-speed network north to Manchester.
Mark Thurston, CEO at HS2 Ltd said:
“2022 is shaping up to be a huge year for HS2. Our expanding workforce reflects the scale of progress we are making in delivering Britain’s new railway and supporting the Government’s drive to net zero, level up the country and build back better from the pandemic.
“With all three phases of the project now in progress, and two decades of construction work still ahead of us, the scale of opportunity for individuals and businesses on HS2 right across the UK continues to grow at pace.”
HS2’s supply chain has seen continued growth, with 76 new UK businesses securing contract awards, taking the total number of unique UK businesses engaged in the supply chain to 2,515. Small and medium sized companies, seeking stability and new work opportunities following the challenges of pandemic, were also among those to benefit, with 61% of the supply chain now represented by SMEs.
Acting as the largest infrastructure project in European history, HS2 has given the UK a major boost towards economic growth post pandemic; through supporting workforce needs and providing opportunities for younger people to garner experience within the rail sector.