HS2 Solihull interchange station to create 1,000 new jobs - The Solihull Observer

HS2 Solihull interchange station to create 1,000 new jobs

Solihull Editorial 6th Sep, 2022 Updated: 7th Sep, 2022   0

THE 1,000 new jobs created by the construction of the HS2 Interchange station in Solihull has been welcomed with caution.

The West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, made the announcement at the site – where work is underway for the eco-friendly station – earlier this week.

The jobs will also include 22 new apprenticeship roles at the site which is due to open in 2026.

Laing O’Rourke has been awarded the contract and supply chain contracts are said to be available for businesses in the region.

Mr Street said: “HS2 will reinforce our region’s place at the heart of the UK economy when it starts operating but it is already delivering for the West Midlands today – through job creation, opportunities for local businesses and of course this new station contract.

“This announcement demonstrates once again that HS2 is a flagship Levelling Up project for the UK and will continue to catalyse investment into the West Midlands.”

Councillor Ian Courts, Solihull Council leader said: “It is great to see what Laing O’Rourke and HS2 are doing in both job creation and providing opportunities for apprenticeships in the borough.

“The apprentice roles will give young men and women great opportunities to start their career on what is the UK’s biggest construction project.

“What we have to do now as the project comes to life is to make sure it is helpful to the economy and be respectful to the environment.”

The station forms part of the wider UK Central Hub area plans for 70,000 jobs, 8,000 new homes and commercial space.

However, the news hasn’t been welcomed with open arms by all.

Richard Lloyd, chairman at the Heart of England High Speed Rail Action Group said: “While new jobs are always welcome, readers should know that the cost of the HS2 jobs is Government debt, to be repaid, with interest, in the future.

“Given the salary and bonuses paid to HS2 executives, plus the overheads in the subcontractor chain, many more jobs could have been created with the same money, and the jobs could have been much more useful to the nation if used to insulate homes or to produce renewable energy.”

Berkswell Parish Councillor Andrew Burrows said: “If you spend £100billion on any infrastructure project you would expect to get some temporary construction jobs.

“As most people will know, trains are now running only partially occupied.

“There is a plaque on the locks at Hatton. It says that the locks were widened in the 1930s.

“That was also a job creates scheme. 20 years later commercial traffic on the canals had virtually stopped. Working from home and tele conferencing is drastically reducing rail demand.”

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