HS2 supports University of East London postgraduates into jobs

Aravind Chandanathil Narayanankutty is one of the graduates that has now secured a full-time job on HS2.

HS2’s civils contractor Skanska Costain STRABAG is supporting graduates into employment on the high speed line thanks to its partnership with the University of East London.

The partnership, which was cemented last summer, was initially put in place to provide MSc civil engineering graduates with an eight-month paid work placement supporting HS2’s construction. 

Placements allow students to develop vital hands-on industry experience in a real life setting, whilst progressing the theory element of their studies.

Throughout the duration of their placements the calibre of work delivered by the UEL postgraduate students was so high that SCS has now offered permanent jobs to the participants.

Ambrose Quashie, HS2’s skills manager for Greater London, said: “With such a high calibre of talent studying at universities near to our major construction sites, it’s vital that we seize the opportunity to work in partnership and create opportunities for students and graduates to play their part in HS2’s construction.

“Ensuring that HS2 leaves a lasting skills legacy is central to the overall success of the project. This initiative is one of many that we are forging across Greater London to ensure that people benefit from the career opportunities HS2 is creating into the next decade and beyond.”

The success of the partnership in its first year means that SCS will continue to work with UEL and offer placement opportunities to students throughout 2022 and 2023.

James Richardson, managing director of Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture, said: “We are proud to engage with communities across our route, allowing them to gain practical experience working in complex programme delivery.

"The diversity of roles available means there are career opportunities for everyone, and we are proud of our relationship with the University of East London that will help shape the careers of our stars of the future.”

Attracting and harnessing new talent into the construction and rail engineering sectors is vital, not only to HS2’s delivery, but to the pipeline of major infrastructure projects across the UK in the future.

Patricia Stevenson, placements manager at University of East London said: “Partnering with SCS has been a fantastic development for the University of East London’s Post Graduate Placements programme. 

“Our MSc engineering students have benefited from being placed on leading industry projects such as HS2. That is a significant milestone in itself, but the really good news is that they have all gone on to be offered permanent jobs with SCS’s parent companies and we’ve developed an ongoing relationship that will see us working together to place future students from every cohort.”

Aravind Chandanathil Narayanankutty is one of the graduates that has now secured a full-time job on HS2. He said: “I really enjoyed the work environment and the collaborative approach to working with stakeholders. I’m so happy to have secured a job working full-time on HS2 as a site engineer.”

HS2’s construction is already supporting over 27,000 jobs, with over 2,550 businesses actively engaged in the supply chain.

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