HS2 opens doors to young people and jobseekers

Young people out on a HS2 site visit during the Open Doors event at Long Itchington, October 2022.

HS2 is hoping to attract young people and those looking for a career change to its Open Doors 2023 programme from March 13.

HS2 has partnered with Build UK on the programme, which offers the opportunity to discover how they could get involved with building Britain’s new railway, by visiting sites between London and the West Midlands.

This includes the Chilterns Tunnel south portal, Curzon Street Station, Old Oak Common Station, Wendover Dean Viaduct and Willesden Logistics Hub.

The programme will also allow people with the potential to find employment on the different sites to meet with HS2’s construction partners.

These include Align (formed of Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick), BBV (Balfour Beatty VINCI), BBVS (Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA), EKFB (Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction & BAM Nuttall) and SCS (Skanska, Costain & STRABAG).

Rebecca Young, HS2’s skills and employment supply chain manager said: “We’re delighted to partner with Build UK to give young people, across the country, the chance to see how we’re building Britain’s new railway.

“For those interested in a career in construction, this is a great opportunity to meet the people building our new stations, viaducts and tunnels.

“With over 900 apprentices already on board and plans to recruit hundreds more in the months and years ahead, we hope to inspire the next generation to play a part in future phases of HS2.”

Suzannah Nichol MBE, Build UK’s chief executive, explained Open Doors is run for the industry and aims to recruit the next generation by showing them what goes on “behind the site hoardings”.

“We are delighted to be partnering with HS2, which is opening 16 fantastic sites across the country, including tunnels, viaducts, stations and training centres,” she said. “This variety is what Open Doors is all about and will show visitors just how many opportunities and interesting careers there are in construction.”

In November 2022, HS2 hosted Build UK on its Long Itchington Wood Tunnel North Portal site near Leamington Spa to launch ‘Open Doors 2023’, attended by over 25 young people from Walsall and Warwickshire Colleges.

This is also one of the sites opening its doors during the week-long programme in March.

The events will give visitors a unique insight into a career in construction and an introduction to the fantastic range of opportunities available in the sector.

In addition to familiar site-based construction roles, many of the positions available are based externally, with companies requiring a back-office support network, front-of-house sales teams, and cutting-edge technical roles.

Emmanuel Rossignol, HS2 construction partner EKFB’s programme director, said: “From learning more about our carbon-saving viaducts, environment projects and construction achievements to date - but also the jobs, apprenticeships and community outreach opportunities we are offering this year - there is something for everyone.

“This includes a visit to one of our many ecology sites that forms part of HS2's green corridor, the opportunity to have a go at virtually driving a piece of heavy machinery in one of our plants simulators and taking a mini-bus tour of one of our live sites to see the works taking place, amongst much more.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming guests to our construction sites across Bucks and Northants this March.”

Events will run throughout the week across sites spanning the length of the HS2 Phase One route.

The programme will run from Monday 13 March to Saturday 18 March 2023 and you can book a place here.

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