The number of construction jobs in the UK is soaring – and HS2 is one of the reasons why.
Last month saw the project hit the 20,000 jobs mark and a series of new developments are about to add to this, meaning there will be more reason to put on men’s workwear as the huge rail project continues.
This week, it was announced that over 100 new jobs will be created by the construction of a new factory in Hartlepool, which will be used to make precast 36,000 concrete sections for the tunnels that will take the line under west London between Old Oak Common and Green Parkway.
Welcoming the news, HS2 minister Andrew Stephenson MP noted that the various aspects of the project are creating indirect jobs too. He said: “Companies across the north east are already benefiting from being part of HS2’s vast supply chain, with 400,000 supply chain contract opportunities expected on Phase One alone.”
As well as creating jobs, HS2 is also helping develop knowledge. In another announcement, the HS2 Learning Legacy Project has been formally launched. This will be designed to create a vast shareable knowledge base highlighting lessons and innovations that will arise from this, the biggest civil engineering project in the UK.
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HS2’s growing contribution to the construction jobs market is occurring at a time when vacancies in the industry are at an all-time high, matching the general surge in job availability as the UK economy recovers.
In the three months from July to September, there were 43,000 construction vacancies, 45 per cent up on the April to June period and double the figure in the equivalent period last year.
This has also led to wage inflation of around 9.7 per cent in the sector, meaning jobs are not just plentiful, but increasingly well-paid.