News - 17 July 2013

HS2 Phase Two consultation opens as leaders are called on to ensure new jobs and skills development opportunities are generated

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin today called on city leaders from the biggest economic powerhouses outside of London to ensure maximum economic benefits – including job creation and skills development – are generated by HS2. 

He made the call at an HS2 jobs and skills summit at Manchester Metropolitan University’s award-winning school of engineering. 

The high-level gathering saw HS2 Ltd chief executive, Alison Munro, unveil the company’s plans for creating engineering jobs for students through initiatives in schools, further and higher education and a programme of apprenticeships and internships. 

Over 2,000 apprentices could be employed in construction related jobs on HS2– nearly five times more than either Crossrail or the Olympics. This will enable replenishment of the UK’s engineering skills that will later benefit other British projects and industries. In addition it is expected there will be apprentice opportunities with rolling stock manufacture as well as non-construction roles. Even at this early stage HS2 Ltd’s contractors have enabled over 700 graduate trainees and apprentices to work on the project. 

The summit came on the day the government published for consultation its proposed route for phase two of HS2 – from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds, which will pass through the East Midlands – and confirmed the introduction of an exceptional hardship scheme for homeowners on the route north from the Midlands. 

Patrick McLoughlin said: “HS2 provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to drive growth, generate jobs, develop skills and secure our country’s future prosperity. We need to squeeze every possible benefit from this vital project, leaving no stone unturned. 

“This summit of the biggest cities outside of London is vital to ramp up plans to ensure we make the best use of UK skills and workers in building the high speed rail network. 

“From 2017, HS2 will create 19,000 engineering and construction jobs. For Crossrail, 97% of the contracts have been won by British-based companies and we will do everything possible so that industry, people and businesses – particularly in the great cities of the North and Midlands – are well placed to take advantage of the tremendous opportunity the new railway presents.” 

Commercial Secretary, Lord Deighton said: “We saw with the Olympics, big projects can bring big rewards – boosting business, inspiring innovation and creating jobs. High Speed 2 is of vital importance to this country’s growth and it is crucial we act now to provide the infrastructure the UK needs to compete in the global race. 

“As Chair of the HS2 Growth Taskforce I will be working with a team of experts to unlock the huge economic potential of the project and absolutely maximising the benefits to everyone along the route.” 

Phase two consultation will run for six months and will be accompanied by a series of public information events from mid-October 2013 to early January 2014 where people will be able to review local information and speak directly with HS2 Ltd staff about the proposals. Responses to the consultation will play an important part in informing the decision on a final route, station and depot options by the end of 2014. 

Further details regarding the Phase Two consultation documents can be found here – 

Details regarding the Exceptional Hardship Scheme can be found here –

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