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5th Jul, 2022

HS2 proves an engine for new jobs as well as laying rail tracks

HS2’s latest performance data shows it has supported more than 1,400 people who were out of work into employment.

The people behind the project say it demonstrates its crucial role in the drive to equip people with ‘skills for life’.

Its success in supporting unemployed people into work is largely driven by the effectiveness of its job brokerage partnership model which launched earlier this year.

By bringing together the Department for Work and Pensions, strategic regional and local stakeholders including local authorities, enterprise partnerships, charities and employment support services along the route of the new railway, the job brokerage model has enabled HS2 and its construction partners to engage local people who are looking for work.

Referrals allow individuals, including those at risk of long-term unemployment, to access training and placement opportunities which provide them with the skills they need to transition into jobs supporting HS2’s construction.

Bespoke initiatives led by HS2’s construction partner for the West Midlands, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV), are already paying dividends and thanks to referrals from local partners, 150 people from the region who were out of work have now secured a career in construction in just six months.

HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson MP said: “It is heartening to hear real life stories of how HS2 is supporting unemployed people into work right across the country.

“It demonstrates not just the huge variety of skills and opportunities that the project offers to job seekers, but is also a great example of the Government’s Plan for Jobs in action.”

Julie Venn-Morton, HS2’s skills manager for the West Midlands said: “The pace of construction across Warwickshire and the West Midlands is driving the creation of hundreds of new jobs.

“Through our job brokerage model, we’re able to ensure that those most in need are benefiting from training and upskilling opportunities to get them job-ready for HS2.”

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