HS2 celebrates jobs boom with over 6,800 employed in West Midlands

Almost 30,000 people are now involved in the construction of HS2, it was revealed today.

Artist's impression of the HS2 Birmingham Interchange station
Artist's impression of the HS2 Birmingham Interchange station

Britain’s new high speed railway and the Government’s flagship levelling-up project is entering its main phase of construction.

Work is happening simultaneously on 350 sites between London, the West Midlands and the North West.

Of 27,000 people now employed, 6,838 people are currently in the West Midlands, according to HS2.

They are helping to build the new stations at Curzon Street in the centre of Birmingham and Interchange in Solihull, as well as miles of track, tunnels and viaducts in-between.

HS2 says 2,200 people, who were formerly unemployed, have found work with construction partners and companies. That includes 539 previously out of work people who live in the West Midlands.

Artist's impression of a section of the HS2 line

To date, HS2 has welcomed more than 950 new apprentice starts, putting it firmly on track to meet its target of creating 2,000 apprenticeships. Of those 950, a total of 344 live and study in the West Midlands.

The line, between London Euston and Birmingham, marks the first phase of the project. Preparatory work is already under way in Staffordshire on the second phase towards Manchester, which will take the line through the county, close to the Shropshire border.

As construction gathers pace, the breadth of apprenticeship programmes HS2 provides has expanded. In addition to roles in project management, engineering, and quantity surveying, HS2 has created new roles this year in cyber security, land referencing and health, safety and the environment.

Rebecca Young, skills and employment strategy manager at HS2 Ltd, said: “Long before HS2 trains start arriving in the West Midlands, Britain’s biggest infrastructure project is delivering for the region.

"Just under 7,000 people living in the West Midlands have found jobs with HS2, plus hundreds of formerly unemployed helped into work, and apprenticeships and T-Levels helping to train the country’s next generation of engineers, builders and more.

"HS2 is the UK’s flagship Levelling Up project and we remain committed to driving investment and opportunities into the West Midlands."

She added: "HS2 also supports T-Level students, by sponsoring their placements, and partners with local universities to ensure graduates have direct pathways into employment in their specialist field, whether that’s civil engineering, design or IT.

"Recently, HS2’s West Midlands construction partner, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV), confirmed that it will join forces with three more colleges to increase the number of industry placements it offers to T-Level students.

"Over 30 young people in Solihull, Dudley, Wolverhampton and Walsall will get to play a part in HS2’s construction as part of their studies."

HS2’s online jobs board hs2.org.uk/supply-chain-jobs, offers those looking for work or a change of career, the opportunity to search the very latest vacancies with HS2’s construction partners and station contractors.  There are currently over 170 live vacancies based within the West Midlands region.

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