HS2 project offers students a pathway to employment

The launch of HS2’s giant tunnel boring machine will create new training and employment opportunities for students at United Colleges Group.

After setting off on its five-mile journey from West Ruislip to Greenford earlier this month, the engineering project hopes to deliver a bespoke training and work-placement programme - especially for students who reside in Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.

The three-week training programme, delivered in partnership with United Colleges Group (City of Westminster College and College of North West London), started on October 24 and will be followed by a four-week paid work placement, joining the team operating the giant 2,000 tonne machine and enabling candidates to get a feel for what it’s like to work in construction..

HS2’s construction partner, Skanska Costain STRABAG (SCS), is working in partnership with Danny Sullivan Group, Camden Council and The Forge@ParkRoyal (part of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation) to deliver a bespoke training and work placement.

During its construction programme SCS will launch five more tunnel boring machines, creating a total of 26 miles of tunnel beneath the capital, ready to transport HS2’s state of the art British-built bullet-style trains into the terminus station at Euston.

Ambrose Quashie, HS2’s Skills Manager for Greater London, said:
“We’re teaming up with some brilliant partners, as we know they are well placed to ensure that local people, who are most in need, benefit from these unique training and employment opportunities on HS2.

“Tunnelling is a highly-skilled career for life, and this is a fantastic opportunity to join the team tasked with constructing some of the most challenging sections of the whole HS2 route.”

The training programme will prepare candidates for their four-week paid work placement. They’ll gain the vital construction and health and safety accreditation they need to begin working alongside and learning from some of the most experienced engineers in the industry.

Skanska Costain STRABAG contractor, Danny Sullivan Group, will be looking for standout candidates throughout the programme and will invest in providing tunnelling operative apprenticeships to those eager to earn, learn and progress into this specialist engineering role.

CEO and Group Principal Stephen Davis said:
“United Colleges Group is delighted to partner with SCS in this exciting project as it pushes new boundaries in construction and offers fantastic engineering opportunities for local residents."

“UCG believe in creating a pathway to future careers for everyone and this collaboration fits perfectly with our ethos of education and innovation.”