HS2 Ltd has 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.
Companies across the country are now forming part of HS2’s supply chain. Contracts have already been awarded to over 2,200 businesses, 97% of which are UK-based. A further £25 billion worth of opportunities are expected to flow out into the wider supply chain over the coming years.
“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,” said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP.
“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.”
HS2’s jobs boost is 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.”