HS2 to encourage new engineering talent and support 15,000 jobs by 2020

A whole generation of engineers, designers, architects and geologists will benefit from the construction of the new high speed railway, according to the HS2 Ltd skills strategy.

The project is gearing up to support a total of 15,000 jobs by 2020 – reaching 30,000 at peak construction – creating opportunities for British businesses to upskill their workforce and build a skills base to export around the world.

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Building the talented workforce of the future 


In its skills strategy, HS2 has set out a programme of skills, employment and education interventions, which will ensure the UK not only has the skills to deliver the HS2 project, but to become a world leader in high speed rail.

Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, said: “Our skills strategy shows how we will create a sustainable pipeline of jobs and skills for companies across the whole country, which boost regional economies and help Britain compete internationally.

“Our programme will tackle the skills challenges faced by the wider transport infrastructure sector, and ensure the UK has the best skills to deliver HS2 as well as major infrastructure projects in the future.”

HS2 Minister, Nusrat Ghani MP, added: “HS2 will provide the backbone of our future rail network and is already driving jobs and economic growth across the country. HS2 already supports more than 7,000 jobs, forecast to reach around 15,000 by 2020, and is building the talented workforce of the future that this transformative project needs.

“The ambitious programme of skills, employment and education will see the economic benefits of HS2 fully realised across the UK, boosting productivity and sharing prosperity across the country.”

Educating the next generation of civil engineers

HS2 also poses more opportunities for students and graduates, with more than 100 apprentices already working on the project – a figure that is expected to hit 2,000 over HS2’s lifetime.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton, said: “Apprenticeships offer incredible opportunities for young people. Everyone studying an apprenticeship with HS2 will be able to look back and say they played a role creating our country’s future. Not only that, the apprentices are also learning the skills that future employers are looking for, that’s what apprenticeships are all about.

“HS2 is creating 2,000 apprenticeships and is a fantastic example of a national project that is providing opportunities for everyone, whatever their background and wherever they come from. I look forward to meeting some of the apprentices that have been a part of making it happen.”

New initiatives will be introduced over the next 12 months to stimulate interest in STEM subjects and encourage more young people into transport infrastructure related careers and a new Secondary Education Engagement Programme will inspire the next generation to enter transport infrastructure careers.

Be a part of HS2ORY

HS2 is a career defining project and provides the possibility for engineering professionals to work on a project that will stand the test of time. 

Rail infrastructure specialist, Graham Day, explained: “HS2 is the biggest infrastructure project in Europe, creating 25,000 jobs in its construction alone. Given the scale and complexity of the project, and the sheer number of jobs it will create, it is essential that we encourage more and more people to choose a career in civil engineering, and the attractive nature of the project will hopefully do that.

“There are a lot of high speed rail links across the world and there are opinions that our rail network is dated in comparison. I’ve always believed that you become a civil engineer because of the projects you get to work on and to be able to say you were part of the development, build and design of the project that will revolutionise our rail network, will be a huge achievement.”

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