Within HS2’s Skills, Employment and Education Strategy released back in 2018, they committed to creating at least 2,000 apprenticeships during the life span of the project, and is now over a fifth of the way to meeting its target.
An upsurge in the number of people taking up apprentice roles is anticipated in the next two years as HS2’s supply chain grows and more British businesses come on board to support the construction programme.
Kate Myers, HS2 Ltd’s Head of Skills, Employment and Education said: “We’re passionate about delivering meaningful training and employment opportunities, and upskilling young people is vital to the country’s economic recovery.
“Apprenticeships with us, and companies within our supply chain, provide a fantastic start to working life or the opportunity for a complete career change, knowing that the ability to earn and learn is supported with a qualification.
“The scale and breadth of HS2 provides long-term career prospects and I’m delighted that many of those who joined as apprentices back in 2017 have successfully completed their course and gone on to secure full time employment on the project. It’s that long-term investment that we strive to offer that really makes a difference”.
Chris Sadler, a 21-year-old from Tamworth, joined HS2 as a Project Management apprentice in 2017 and now has a permanent role as Assistant Commercial Manager within HS2’s land and property team.
He said: “The apprenticeship programme enabled me to work and learn simultaneously, and I’ve developed skills that have helped me to achieve results on one of the biggest infrastructure projects in Europe!”
“Progressing from an apprentice, to where I am today, is a great achievement for me and really shows the opportunities HS2 has to offer.”
Ochure Chujor, a 32-year-old from Pursfleet in Essex, began his HS2 apprenticeship in September this year.
Ochure said: “I’ve wanted to make the move into project management for years and the chance to work on HS2, whilst focusing on my professional development, is a truly unique opportunity.
“For me, my work needs to carry ‘meaning’ so the legacy HS2 will leave for my children’s and future generations is something that really inspired me to join and will continue to push me along the journey”.
HS2’s main works construction partners have welcomed over 100 apprentices on to the project since their contract start dates, opening a plethora of opportunities for individuals to take a hands-on role in the delivery of one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects.
This element attracted 21-year-old James King from Rugby to join HS2’s contractor, Balfour Beatty VINCI as an apprentice.
James said: “I dropped out of an electrical engineering course at university earlier this year, as I wasn’t enjoying the course due to the textbook-style of learning. I knew I wanted to work on HS2. It was talked about at school, so I already knew I wanted to be part of it.”
Image: HS2 Ltd