HS2 Ltd has confirmed that it will double the number of graduates it welcomes into the business this year as part of its commitment to developing a diverse workforce
At the launch of its skills, education and employment strategy in September 2018, HS2 committed to developing a diverse workforce that addressed the gender and age imbalances that are commonplace across construction and rail engineering.
HS2 established a Future Talent network, which set out a year-on-year commitment to ensuring that a percentage of its workforce is made up of both graduates and apprentices.
With over a quarter of the UK’s rail engineers aged over 55 and predicted to retire in the next ten years, investing in future talent is crucial to ensuring the UK has the skills it needs.
Over 1,000 graduates applied for its 2020 programme and HS2 took the decision to more than double the number of graduates it welcomes into its Birmingham and London-based teams this year from nine to 21.
The final stages of the recruitment and selection process are now underway and in October, graduates will join HS2’s engineering, urban design, innovation, environment and commercial development teams.
Boosting young people’s employment prospects
Karen Davis, HS2’s talent manager, said: “The increase in applications we received this year was overwhelming and with the impacts of Covid-19 widely reported to be adversely affecting young people’s employment prospects, we really wanted to do more.
“HS2 is committed to providing the jobs and helping develop the skills to show off the very best of British engineering.
“We’ll now welcome 21 graduates and 22 apprentices into HS2 Ltd in September, which is in addition to the opportunities also available with our Joint Venture partners and across the supply chain.”
At peak construction HS2 will support over 30,000 jobs and at least 2,000 apprenticeship opportunities will be created over the lifecycle of the project.
Applications for HS2’s 2021 graduate recruitment programme will open in October.