Rebecca Wayman

HS2 reveals its support of 9,000 workers across UK including SMEs

Today (May 23), HS2 Ltd has revealed that the high speed railway is supporting 9,000 jobs around the country.

The news follows from work on the London to Birmingham route continuing to reach completion, with activity currently on over 250 sites.

Over 2,000 firms across the UK now have contracts with HS2, and 70 per cent are believed to be SMEs (98 per cent are British).

Transport secretary, Chris Grayling, said: “Delivering HS2 is a manifesto commitment. Today’s announcement shows HS2 is happening and [an] example of how this government is making sure Britain works for everyone, delivering jobs and growth.

“At its peak HS2 will directly provide 30,000 jobs not only on the route but across the UK and when ready will deliver the vital extra capacity and connections needed to not only drive productivity growth but to deliver regeneration across the Midlands, North of England and beyond.”

At peak construction, over 30,000 people will be needed to design and build the railway. Since Royal Assent in 2017, there have been 324 apprenticeships within HS2 Ltd and the supply chain.

Activity across the first phase of the route is part of HS2’s enabling works. These are designed to prepare the way for viaducts, embankments, stations and ultimately the railway line itself.

Works include land clearance, demolitions, tree planting, archaeology, utility diversions, and environmental mitigations.

Much of this is said to be centred around HS2’s new station sites in Birmingham, Old Oak Common and Euston.

Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2 Ltd, added: “HS2 is more than a railway, it’s also an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for the country.

“The jobs and skills that we will create in every corner of the country will give us an industry to be proud of, and one that we can export to other countries.

“As work gathers pace on the project, the jobs and opportunities for British businesses to get involved mean the benefits are here and now. Britain once led the world in railway engineering, and it can once again be at its forefront through HS2.”

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