Record numbers of unemployed secure jobs on HS2

Record numbers of unemployed secure jobs on HS2.

HS2 says 2,200 people who were out of work have now secured a job helping to build Britain’s new railway.

The company says the figures show that the drive to support more unemployed people into skilled careers on HS2 is proving to be a success.

In the last three months, 267 people who were out of work have transitioned into employment with HS2’s construction partners and companies in the wider supply chain. 

They form part of the 27,000-strong workforce spread across more than 350 sites between London, the Midlands and Crewe.

Natalie Penrose, head of legacy at HS2 Ltd, said: “We know that people are feeling the squeeze financially, which is why we’re working closely with our construction partners to ensure those most in need benefit from the huge range of employment opportunities HS2 is creating.

“Through our training academies and specialist skills centres, we’re equipping people who had never considered a career in construction with new qualifications, skills and experience to establish a career, not just a job.

“Our approach is helping to create a more diverse workforce that will benefit the whole of the UK. And with two decades of construction ahead of us, we have a unique opportunity to help many more people launch a new career.”

HS2’s specialist training academies and fast-track job training programmes, delivered in partnership with further education colleges, local councils, and enterprise partnerships are all playing a part in the drive to get unemployed people into work. 

They enable candidates to access free training and progress onto paid work trials, so they can see if the jobs on offer suit their personal career aspirations.

In the West Midlands, HS2’s construction partner Balfour Beatty VINCI has helped hundreds of local people to secure work on the 90km section of the railway it is building between Warwickshire and Staffordshire.

One of those is 33-year-old Dale Plucinski from Kidderminster who recently graduated from the Skills Academy and is now working as a traffic marshall at a BBV construction site in Birmingham.

He said: “I’d never worked in construction before, but the tutors at the BBV Skills Academy were very understanding of my knowledge level. The programme was flexible, and they broke everything down for me in a clear and structured way.

"They supported everyone’s needs, from dyslexia to language barriers, the tutors went the extra mile and really built my confidence.”

HS2’s construction partners are currently recruiting for more than 350 roles at various locations between London, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes and Birmingham.

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