‘Build the Future’ is a celebration of apprenticeships and HS2 is showing its support by recruiting more young talent onto Europe’s biggest engineering project
Britain’s new railway has already supported 518 new apprentice starts and its promise to create 2,000 apprenticeships over the project’s lifetime edges a step closer this week as the recruitment window opens once again.
HS2’s main works contractors are also recruiting and creating new apprenticeship roles which are ideally suited to those who do want to get closer to the design, delivery and construction processes.
Balfour Beatty VINCI, HS2’s construction partner for the West Midlands, is recruiting for five Apprentice Laboratory Technicians and a technology data apprentice, whilst EKFB is recruiting for a cost apprentice, who will prepare work packages for potential subcontracts and use 3D models and the latest technology to manage schedule cost and performance data.
HS2 set out its commitment to invest in young people, upskill its workforce and ensure the UK has a pipeline of future talent when it launched its Skills, Employment and Education Strategy back in 2018.
It challenged its main works construction partners to ensure that 4% of its workforce are apprentices and set robust targets to support work experience and curriculum focused activities in schools to ensure that local communities are well placed to benefit from opportunities the project creates over the next 20 years.
Support for National Apprenticeship Week
As an extension of its support for National Apprenticeship Week and this year’s ‘Build the Future’ theme, HS2 Ltd and its contractors are participating in a number of local careers fairs and holding online workshops and live chat sessions for those who may be considering whether an apprenticeship is right for them.
Apprenticeships with HS2 Ltd and its construction partners have proven to be a popular choice for people of all ages, with or without previous experience.
HS2 Ltd’s roles are open to those aged 16 and over, making them an obvious choice for school and college leavers looking to take their first step into the world of work. But as 45-year-old Karen Moffat explains, apprenticeships aren’t just for teenagers.
Karen Moffat said: “My background is in retail and after having a knee replacement and mobility issues, I worked with the Shaw Trust who help people with disabilities get into work. When they told me about this role I thought I was too old to be an apprentice but they said no, it doesn’t work like that. I applied, got offered the position and here I am.
“At my age I didn’t think there was a possibility of changing my career path; I thought I was stuck with what I knew. I was surviving on Universal Credit, with the help of food banks.
“But the apprenticeship has given me the opportunity to come into a completely different world. I realised there are people who are willing to overlook things like a disability. My apprenticeship means so much to me because it’s given me hope.”
Karen Davis, HS2 Ltd’s talent manager, added: “Whether starting out in your career or looking for a change in direction, an apprenticeship with HS2 offers an unrivalled opportunity to play a part in revolutionising our railways, transforming towns and cities and supporting Britain’s economic growth.
“Our apprenticeships span a broad range of sectors and combine hands on learning with part-time study.
“The ability to earn, learn and work alongside some of the very best in the field generates a huge demand for our apprenticeships and I’m delighted that we’re set to welcome 30 more new starters later this year.”