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HS2: How Are Postgraduates Being Supported Into Employment?

3 min

Image Credit: HS2
Image Credit: HS2
HS2’s civil contractor Skanska Costain STRABAG (SCS) has formed a partnership with the University of East London (UEL) to support its MSc Civil Engineering graduates into employment on HS2. Quadrant Transport explores how the postgraduates are being supported and why it is so important.

The partnership was cemented last summer and was initially put in place to provide postgraduates with an eight-month paid work placement supporting HS2’s construction.

It is said that the placements have provided students with the opportunity to develop vital hands-on industry experience, in a real-life setting, whilst progressing the theory element of their studies. SCS has now offered permanent jobs to the participants.

Young People Must Be Provided With Career And Skills Opportunities

Following the success of the partnership in the first year, SCS has said that it will continue to work with UEL and offer placement opportunities to students throughout 2022 and 2023.

HS2’s Skills Manager for Greater London, Ambrose Quashie, spoke about why it is important that young people must be provided with employment and skill opportunities like this: “With such a high calibre of talent studying at universities near to our major construction sites, it’s vital that we seize the opportunity to work in partnership and create opportunities for students and graduates to play their part in HS2’s construction. Ensuring that HS2 leaves a lasting skills legacy is central to the overall success of the project.”

This initiative is one of many that we are forging across Greater London to ensure that people benefit from the career opportunities HS2 is creating into the next decade and beyond.

The Programme Helps Young People Gain Practical Experience

Attracting young people into the construction and rail engineering sectors is vital, not only to HS2 but to the pipeline of major infrastructure projects across the UK in the future.

To help address the skills shortages that the UK is currently facing, through forging partnerships with universities, the rail industry will benefit from the knowledge and experience that young people will bring.

Managing Director of Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture, James Richardson, explained that the diversity of the roles offered means that everyone could be provided with opportunities: “SCS JV offers unparalleled opportunities for people to develop a career in our industry.

“We are proud to engage with communities across our route, allowing them to gain practical experience working in complex programme delivery.”

The diversity of roles available means there are career opportunities for everyone, and we are proud of our relationship with the University of East London that will help shape the careers of our stars of the future.

Aravind Chandanathil Narayanankutty is one of the postgraduates who has been provided with this opportunity and through it has secured a full-time job on HS2. He said: “I’d like to thank everyone at SCS for being so welcoming and supporting me on my placement.”

I really enjoyed the work environment and the collaborative approach to working with stakeholders. I’m so happy to have secured a job working full-time on HS2 as a site engineer.

Over 27,000 jobs have already been supported by HS2’s construction, with over 2,550 businesses actively engaged in the supply chain.