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- By Andy Smith
HS2 is to more than double the number of graduates it takes on board this year, to address the increasing average age of the UK’s rail engineers.
Over a quarter of the UK’s rail engineers are over the age
of 55 and predicted to retire in the next 10 years.
HS2 established its skills, education and employment
strategy in September 2018, with the aim of developing a diverse workforce that
addressed the gender and age imbalances common in the sector. Its Future Talent
network sets out a year-on-year commitment to ensuring that a percentage of the
workforce who will design, construct and deliver HS2 is made up of both
graduates and apprentices.
Over 1,000 graduates applied for its 2020 programme and HS2
Ltd took the decision to more than double the number of graduates it welcomes
into its Birmingham and London-based teams this year from nine to 21.
The final stages of the recruitment and selection process
are now underway and in October, graduates will join HS2’s engineering, urban design,
innovation, environment and commercial development teams.
Karen Davis, HS2’s talent manager, said: “The increase in
applications we received this year was overwhelming and with the impacts of covid-19
widely reported to be adversely affecting young people’s employment prospects,
we really wanted to do more.
“HS2 is committed to providing the jobs and helping develop
the skills to show off the very best of British engineering. We’ll now welcome
21 graduates and 22 apprentices into HS2 Ltd in September, which is in addition
to the opportunities also available with our Joint Venture partners and across
the supply chain.”
Applications for HS2’s 2021 graduate recruitment
programme will open in October.