Major milestone for Europe’s largest infrastructure project follows approval for Notice to Proceed in April

 
Construction underway at the South Portal Site

 
HS2 Ltd has today announced the formal start of construction on the project and highlighted the jobs the project will create in the coming months and years.

Earlier this year, on April 15, the Department for Transport gave approval for HS2 Ltd to issue Notice to Proceed to the four Main Works Civils Contractors (MWCCs) working on the project to commence full detailed design and construction of Phase One of the HS2 railway from London to the West Midlands.

Today’s symbolic announcement signals that the MWCCs are moving from enabling works, scheme design and preparatory work, to full construction of the railway.

HS2 Ltd says the move to construction also heralds a “jobs boom” on the project, demonstrating the value HS2 is bringing to the economy many years before it is complete, particularly in the post-COVID economic environment.

HS2’s main works contractor for the West Midlands, the Balfour Beatty VINCI Joint Venture (BBV JV), along with its supply chain partners, has said it expects to be one of the biggest recruiters in the West Midlands over the next two years, with up to 7,000 skilled jobs required to complete its section of the HS2 route.

The EKFB Joint Venture (Eiffage, Kier, BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial) – building the section from the Long Itchington Wood site in Warwickshire south to the Chiltern tunnel portals, has said it will recruit over 4,000 roles in the next two years, many based in Milton Keynes, as work ramps up in the area.

HS2’s Tier One construction partners based in Greater London: Skanska Costain STRABAG (SCS JV), Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA (BBVS JV), Align JV and Mace Dragados JV, confirmed that they will collectively recruit over 10,000 new jobs as HS2 gears up for major construction.

HS2 Ltd itself is already directly recruiting for 500 new roles over the next three months, with the majority based in Birmingham, as the project moves into the construction phase.

An estimated 400,000 supply chain contract opportunities for UK businesses will also be created during Phase One of HS2

“Today marks a major milestone in this government’s ambitions to build back better from Covid-19,” said transport secretary Grant Shapps.

“Shovels in the ground to deliver this new railway means thousands of jobs building the future of our country’s infrastructure.

“This fantastic moment is what leaders across the North and Midlands have called for – action to level up our country by boosting capacity on our railways, improving connections between our regions, and spreading prosperity.”

 
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