HS2 for client SCS

Skanska Costain Strabag JV (SCS)
Jun 2019

We are supporting SCS on HS2 sections S1 and S2, which cover the 24.6-mile stretch between Euston and West Ruislip.

SCS is operating a labour desk model for the project. This is the fifth labour desk we have helped to set up – and we continue to work with clients to develop the model.

In partnership with fellow labour suppliers Danny Sullivan Group and McGinley Support Services, we provide a wide range of skilled tradespeople. These include steelfixers, groundworkers, carpenters, plant operators, multi-skilled operatives, concrete finishers, slingers, traffic marshals, crane supervisors and foremen.

Collaborating with our partners

As part of the labour desk, each partner embeds a key member of staff in one of the sections. This reduces duplication across the projects, and helps to ensure the whole team is fully integrated in the culture and values of client SCS.

Jana Romanova
Labour manager Jana Romanova

Our labour manager Jana Romanova is based at West Ruislip, supporting the west section. She liaises closely with the works superintendent and makes sure the integrated labour team meets the service level agreement. Other key areas of her role are

  • managing distribution of requirements to the labour suppliers
  • managing project inductions
  • timesheets
  • tracking KPIs.

Jana liaises daily with our other labour desk partners based in the east and central sections. She also carries out regular engagement tours, delivering site briefings and talking to operatives and offering support if they have any personal or work issues.

Jana also works with HSQE adviser Ben Keegan to ensure all operatives have a good command of English so they can understand safety messages.

Supporting local employment

Martin Bayo, general operative
Martin Ortiz Bayo was homeless when we employed him. He is now a multi-skilled operative on the project.

Most of our staff on HS2 are local, and more than 50% come from targeted London boroughs. Pre-COVID, we encouraged the use of public transport, and over 80% of people used public transport, or cycled or walked to work on site.

58% of our workforce are from black and Asian minority ethnic groups (BAME) and 10% are women. 5% have a declared disability.

Over half of the people employed on the project were out of work for more than two weeks before we took them on. Four of them were homeless, and joined through our partnerships with St Mungo’s and Buses4Homeless.

More than 20 of our people on the project have been promoted. For example, Ryan O’Connell joined the project as a slinger, and after CPCS training funded by VGC is now a senior crane supervisor.

Conor McKeon
Labour manager Conor McKeon

Conor McKeon gained his NVQ level 4 in Construction Site Supervision, before completing the VGC Academy supervisor course. He has now been promoted to labour manager, working with Jana and apprentice administrator Natalia to support our workforce on the project.

CSR manager Kimberley McGinty works closely with the SCS team on a schools programme to encourage local people into construction careers.


Ryan O'Connell award
Senior crane supervisor Ryan O’Connell (R)

In June 2021 Ryan O’Connell received a positive intervention award from SCS management for consistently raising valuable safety observations, including plant people interface management.

Vipinjit Singh and Sarah Calder
Vipinjeet Singh (L) with SCS Copthall tunnel agent Sarah Calder

Supervisor Vipinjeet Singh (on the COP west site) won a safety award in July 2021. He stopped a tipper wagon from driving under an overhead cable with its skip still raised, and prevented what could have been a serious incident.

Veronica Tacovici and Ciaran Hughes
Veronica Tacovici (L) receives her award from SCS environmental manager Ciaran Hughes

Also in July 2021, cleaner Veronica Tacovici received an environmental award for the way she maintains the COSHH stores. Both Veronica and Vipinjeet work on the SCS West COP site.



Ben Keegan delivering manual handling training at SCS site in Willesden
HSQE adviser Ben Keegan delivering manual handling training

With our labour desk partners, we have delivered training courses including CPCS , NPORS, manual handling, respiratory protective equipment (dust mask) face-fit testing, and cat scanning.

We have delivered plant and vehicle marshal (PVM) training on site, and also as part of our recruitment efforts. Courses at a local skills centre have helped unemployed people into work, and these courses were also run at a women’s centre to encourage women into construction careers.

Fiona delivering mental health awareness training at SCS
Fiona delivering a ‘Taking Care of Each Other’ session

Our HSQE adviser and wellbeing champion Fiona Dowling delivered mental health training with SCS senior HSE adviser Isabel Delaney as part of the SCS Love For Life campaign.

A number of our key people have gained NVQ level 3 Diploma in Occupational Work Supervision (Construction) and level 4 NVQ Diploma in Construction Site Supervision – Building and Civil Engineering. Congratulations to LANTRA marshal Henok Tsegaye, groundworks ganger Udom-Titus Udom, carpenter chargehand Mark Gleeson, ganger Jaswinder Singh, steelfixer foreman Stefan Mihai, and supervisor Steve Wright.

About SCS

Skanska Costain Strabag Joint Venture (SCS JV) is delivering 26.4km of HS2 route between Northolt and Euston. 21km of the route will be in tunnels.

Main photo: labour manager Jana Romanova with traffic marshal Henry Uzonwanne at the Copthall road site