HS2 has announced that 22,000 jobs will be created by the construction of phase one of the high-speed rail network between London and the West Midlands.
HS2 says it’s now marking the ‘formal’ start of construction following the government’s approval for ‘notice to proceed’ on April 15th. Other preparations for HS2 have been underway for a while now, including structural work on temporary production factories.
Recruitment of the new roles will happen gradually over the next two years to complete the phase one route. HS2 are describing the ‘jobs boom’ as a ‘path back into work after the pandemic’.
HS2 Ltd CEO, Mark Thurston, said: “This is a hugely exciting moment in the progress of HS2.
“After 10 years of development and preparatory work, today we can formally announce the start of full construction, unlocking thousands of jobs and supply chain opportunities across the project.”
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson says: “HS2 is at the heart of our plans to build back better – and with construction now formally underway, it’s set to create around 22,000 new jobs.
“HS2 will fire up economic growth and help to rebalance opportunity across this country for years to come.”
Up to 7,000 skilled job roles are expected to be filled in the West Midlands over the next two years by Balfour Beatty Vinci and their subcontractors.
One of HS2’s contractors, EKFB, who are working on the section from the Long Itchington Wood site in Warwickshire south to the Chiltern tunnel portals, is expecting to recruit for 4,000 roles, many of which based in Milton Keynes.
In Greater London, it’s estimated that 10,000 jobs will be created during phase one which will be a great opportunity for London based rail, engineering and construction contractors.
Like many sectors, the construction industry has been impacted by the pandemic, especially during lockdown earlier this year which made work harder to find and put some projects on hold.
HS2 will ramp up the opportunities available to contractors over the next 10 years across the country and will provide a huge boost to the construction, rail and engineering sectors.
It’ll also benefit local businesses in the areas where the construction is taking place, larger businesses who have been contracted by HS2 and eventually, Britain as a whole when the country is better connected.
Despite controversy over its costs, HS2 will offer a vital boost to many individuals and businesses at a time when the UK economy is recovering from the effects of Covid-19.
Once complete, the £100bn project will connect London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. The phase one trains are expected to be complete by 2026, followed by phase 2a (West Midlands to Crewe) in 2027 and phase 2b (Crewe to Manchester and West Midlands to Leeds) in 2033.
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