HS2’s lead construction partner Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV) has joined the West Midlands Jobs and Skills Showcase, an event aimed at finding new careers for those involved in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Temporary staff and volunteers who played a key part in the hugely successful sporting event are being encouraged to join HS2. To this end, BBV exhibited alongside other employers at the West Midlands Jobs and Skills Showcase held on 12th August, at the Library of Birmingham.
There were around 13,000 volunteers involved with Birmingham 2022, forming the ‘The Commonwealth Collective’ who received a combined 250,000 hours of training and completed 1 million hours of volunteer time. The event also created 5,000 jobs, in the years leading up to the sporting triumph.
Around 27,000 people are already working on delivering HS2, which is one of the UK’s biggest and most ambitious transport infrastructure projects.
But more people will be needed to keep HS2 on track, as it aims for Phase 1 to be completed by 2029 and 2033. Phase 2 was originally due to open between 2032 and 2033, but the new deadline is 2035 and 2040.
So, the project is expected to continue creating jobs, along with skills and training opportunities, for many years to come. BBV is offering direct pathways into employment for those interested in UK construction jobs, in addition to security roles.
Balfour Beatty VINCI’s head of stakeholders and communities, Shilpi Akbar, told the HS2 Media Centre:
“It’s a really exciting time for the West Midlands right now, which is still buzzing from hosting the hugely successful Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games this summer.
“We share the same ambition to leave a lasting skills legacy for the region. That’s why we’re encouraging volunteers and temporary workers from the Games to come along on Friday to learn more about the many opportunities up for grabs, as we help to build Europe’s largest infrastructure project.”
A “lasting skills legacy” for the West Midlands
A significant part of the HS2 project takes place within the West Midlands region. This includes two brand new trail stations, one at Solihull and one in central Birmingham. Plus, more than 80km of the rail network stretching from Warwickshire, through the West Midlands region and right into Staffordshire.
The project is aiming to create what it describes as a “lasting skills legacy” within the area, much like the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It pledges to provide local people with jobs, careers, skills and free training back into work.
And as HS2 moves further north, it is hoped that it can unlock new avenues of employment for local communities, as well as improving transport links.
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