HS2 Ltd has strengthened its partnership with The Social Mobility Foundation (SMF) in a bid to help support the ‘covid generation’ with their next steps into education and employment

In response to growing fears that young people’s career prospects are predicted to be adversely impacted by the pandemic, HS2 acted quickly to adapt this year’s traditional summer work experience programme to provide virtual support to school and college leavers.

Students from Birmingham, Solihull, Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Walsall, Worcestershire, Manchester, Rochdale and Leeds were amongst those HS2 was invited to support by the SMF, as the students all aspire to a future career in engineering.

Over 180 young people have benefited from work experience placements with HS2, and many more have received ongoing professional support, including speed networking, from its 30-strong team of volunteer mentors within its engineering, environment and project management teams.

Helping young people reach their full potential

Emily Hodgson, head of employer relations and business development at The SMF, said: “The young people we support are unlikely to be able to access high-quality work experience without the support of our programme and employers such as HS2.

“For this, and their championing of social mobility, we are incredibly grateful for HS2’s continued support.”

Previous success

Following the completion of his work experience placement with HS2 last year, 18-year-old Thomas Flaherty from Walsall was successful with his application and is now about to start a four-year degree apprenticeship at The Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology in Wiltshire.

Flaherty said: “I’ll be a part-time student studying two days a week with the University of Warwick and work as an undergraduate engineer for three days a week.

“This will provide me with lots of experience for my CV and if I work hard and get a 2:1 or a 1st class degree, Dyson will guarantee me a job as a full-time engineer.

“I cannot wait to start and am grateful to the team at HS2 who helped me to prepare for this amazing opportunity throughout the application and interview process.”


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