June 2019
Skanska Costain Strabag JV (SCS)
Jana and Henry at SCS site Copthall Road

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.

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.

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

Supporting local employment

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. These include a slinger who is now a foreman on the east section, and a slinger operative on the west section who, thanks to VGC training, was promoted to crane supervisor. The next step after this would be senior crane supervisor.

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

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, ganger Conor McKeon and groundworks ganger Udom-Titus Udom.

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