Laing O’Rourke gains boost from HS2

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Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Manufacturing factory is set to gain a boost thanks to the HS2 project, as it’s predicted the overall programme will support 15,000 jobs by 2020

Explore Manufacturing has won a contract with LM joint venture – between Laing O’Rourke and Murphy – to supply major bridges as part of the early works on phase one of the project.

The modular components will be manufactured at Explore Industrial Park in Worksop, North Nottinghamshire and then brought to site in the West Midlands for assembly.

The deal is expected to create 35 new jobs at the company, which also recruits a minimum of four apprentices a year.

Alan Clucas, director of Explore Manufacturing, said: “We are proud to be working on the biggest rail infrastructure programmes in the country. For Explore Manufacturing it means a significant contribution in digital design and high-quality offsite manufacturing, which shortens time needed on site, and has big benefits in safety, efficiency and programme costs.”

Over 7,000 roles are already supported by the project, and over 2,000 businesses have won work with HS2, ahead of the main construction start next year. A total of 100 apprentices are already working on the scheme, with 2,000 expected over its lifetime.

According to a new HS2 project skills strategy document a whole generation of engineers, designers, architects and geologists will benefit from the construction of the new high-speed railway as the project gears up to support 30,000 jobs at peak construction.

Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2 said: “Our skills strategy, launched today, shows how we will create a sustainable pipeline of jobs and skills for companies across the whole country, which boost regional economies and help Britain compete internationally.

“Our programme will tackle the skills challenges faced by the wider transport infrastructure sector, and ensure the UK has the best skills to deliver HS2 as well as major infrastructure projects in the future.”

In addition to the jobs created at Explore Manufacturing, Balfour Beatty Vinci is expected to employ thousands of people through the West Midlands and has already created 19 higher-level and degree apprentices on the project.

The Eiffage Kier joint venture has recruited 20 apprentices on its contract to deliver main works on the central section of HS2’s phase one between London and Birmingham, and groundworks contractor CA Blackwell has already created 500 jobs in Buckinghamshire thanks to two contracts it has won with HS2.

Mott MacDonald has also created over 300 jobs and apprenticeships around the UK, set to double in 2019, thanks to its contract through Balfour Beatty Vinci.

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