Students supported into graduate level jobs on HS2

HS2 welcomes more new entrants onto its graduate programme.

Students from universities across the UK are moving into graduate level jobs on HS2.

HS2’S graduate programme has helped to launch the careers of more than 50 former students since it first began in 2016.

In the last week 12 graduates from 10 UK universities have secured a place on the coveted two-year scheme.

The class of 2022 will be split across HS2’s engineering, project management, commercial and IT teams, with each new entrant completing rotational placements in their subject area. 

The bespoke programmes provide candidates with industry experience in their chosen field, whilst supporting the multi-phase delivery of the HS2 project.

At peak, HS2’s construction is forecast to create 34,000 jobs, with a programme of works spanning two decades as the railway extends from London, through the Midlands and on to Manchester.

Investing in future talent reflects HS2’s drive to upskill the next generation to ensure it has the highly skilled workforce in place it needs to deliver all three phases of the project. 

Karen Davis, HS2’s head of talent and development, said: “HS2 is a long-term project on a scale like no other and our investment in training and development is critical to addressing the UK’s skills gap.

“Our graduates will work alongside, and be mentored by, some of the very best talent in our industry, giving them the best possible start to their careers.”

Seven of the 12 new recruits opted to leave the towns and cities where they had studied, while the remaining four felt the opportunities HS2 is creating locally provided the best possible start to their careers.

Florence Westwood studied at Nottingham University and wanted to build a career in the transport sector, leading on the planning, execution and management of major projects. She now lives in Solihull and will join HS2’s project management team.

She said: “Securing a place on HS2’s graduate scheme has put me straight onto the career path I wanted to follow. This is a revolutionary project and I know HS2 offer great training and development opportunities, so I’m excited for what the future holds.”

HS2 launched its Skills, Education and Employment strategy in September 2018 and set a clear commitment to developing a diverse workforce that addresses the gender and age imbalances that are commonplace across construction and rail engineering.

With over a quarter of the UK’s rail engineers aged over 55 and predicted to retire in the next 10 years, HS2 says investing in future talent is crucial to ensuring the UK has the skills it needs to support the Government’s commitment to major infrastructure and transport improvement programmes.

Students joining this year’s programme have graduated from Nottingham, Loughborough, Brunel, City, Birmingham, Coventry, West England. Nottingham Trent, University College London and Queen Mary University of London,

Applications for HS2’s 2023 graduate programme will open in December.

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