HS2 Ltd has announced that over 20,000 people are now working on Britain’s high-speed rail project, one year on from the formal start of construction on Phase One from London to the West Midlands
HS2 Ltd has today [Monday 13 September] announced that according to its latest figures, over 20,000 people are now working on the project, one year on from the Prime Minister announcing the formal start of construction on Phase One from London to the West Midlands.
The latest employment figures demonstrate the crucial role that HS2 is playing in the UK’s economic recovery, with work having continued throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. Companies right across the country are now forming part of HS2’s ever growing supply chain. Contracts have already been awarded to over 2,200 businesses, 97% of which are UK-based. A further £25bn worth of opportunities are expected to flow out into the wider supply chain over the coming years.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP, said:
“While there have been some issues with the project in the past, hitting the landmark of 20,000 jobs underlines the unstoppable momentum HS2 now has."
“It’s been an incredible year of progress as work continues across the country to deliver a new backbone of Britain’s transport network, fit for the 21st century and beyond.
“Reaching this landmark is testament to the hard work and dedication of all those involved in the project.”
By providing work for tens of thousands of people in the UK right now, HS2 is helping the country to build back better after Covid-19, as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs.
HS2’s jobs boost is also benefitting those in need, with bespoke initiatives designed to upskill local people who are out of work with the training and accreditation they need to secure a job on HS2. 1,100 individuals who were formerly unemployed have now secured sustainable employment on HS2, and that number is expected to increase in the months and years ahead as the pace of major construction work increases and HS2’s journey extends north.
Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, said:
“We’re enormously proud of the progress we’ve made on HS2 since the Prime Minister gave us the go-ahead last year, and despite the challenges of the pandemic. We’ve already launched our first two tunnelling machines, with more to launch in the coming months, and construction of our stations and depots are well underway.
“HS2 is moving forward, creating jobs, enhancing skills, benefiting UK businesses and building a low carbon, high capacity railway that will change the way we travel in Britain.”
Alongside hitting the landmark of 20,000 jobs on the project and over 650 apprenticeships, HS2 has been making steady progress along the route since Boris Johnson visited the Interchange station site in September 2020.