Five West London College students are starting the new year having secured full-time jobs helping to build HS2, Britain’s new zero-carbon railway.
In October 2022, unemployed residents from Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster, which all border HS2’s line of route, were given the opportunity to apply for a training and paid work trial programme. Ten progressed to employment, and five of these were supported by West London College.
All ten candidates began their new roles helping to build HS2 in January this year. Four will join the tunnelling operative apprenticeship programme, supporting the 26-mile-long London tunnelling works delivered by Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture (SCS JV), one the main London-based contractors for HS2. The remaining candidates will work at HS2 construction sites in Ealing and Camden.
The Danny Sullivan Group, one of SCS JV’s contractors, is the employer providing the work placements, jobs and apprenticeships.
18-year-old Malachi Robinson, who will begin his tunnelling operative apprenticeship with Danny Sullivan Group said: “I can’t wait to play a part in building the Euston tunnels. I want to work my way up the construction ladder and get my black hat, hopefully working as a foreman or site supervisor.”
A black hard hat is worn onsite by a construction site supervisor.
59-year-old Michael Hagan from West Ealing, who will be based at the HS2 Atlas Road site in Park Royal said: “I’m so glad I went for the trial, as it led to me securing a permanent job which I really enjoy. I’ve told everyone I know that’s unemployed that they should get onboard too. I even went back to see my old job coach at the Job Centre to say how great things have turned out, and to encourage them to put more people forward.”
At West London College, the students obtained their CSCS cards and learned a range of topics from manual handling to interview skills and health and safety. Their teacher, Bernard Mayengehama said: “Many of the students had 25 years’ work and life experience to bring to the course which they readily shared with one another. It was a fantastic experience as a teacher and the students’ enthusiasm greatly contributed towards the success of the course.”
HS2 is actively recruiting for over 160 career opportunities, with vacancies updated daily on its online jobs board. Candidates who are out of work, and eager to start a career in construction, can access specialist support and help with their application via TheForge@ParkRoyal.