A new report has estimated that 26,650 jobs will be created at the peak of High Speed 2 (HS2) construction and if the project were to be cancelled now 14,450 jobs would be lost.
The figures are published in a new report undertaken on behalf of the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders, which aims to take a snapshot of the project’s impact on training and employment.
It estimated that the number of HS2 jobs already subject to issued tenders, with the majority of these being in the civil engineering sector, is 14,450. The London to Birmingham phase 1 of the project is expected to receive Royal Assent later this year or early next year, with construction starting in 2017.
Tender contracts have been issued for £900M worth of enabling works and shortlists for the three associated packages have been announced, with final decisions expected at the end of October.
In total, job requirements at the peak construction time between 2017-2020 will be 26,650. In addition, it is expected that the National High Speed Rail College at Birmingham and Doncaster will create 2,000 new apprenticeships to meet demand for jobs. In addition, employers will also be obliged to create apprenticeships, meaning up to 9,000 could be available.
“We welcome this report. It underlines the once in a lifetime opportunity that HS2 represents to create and sustain jobs, improve skills and increase productivity across the UK,” said HS2 Ltd managing director of development Alison Munro.
“With HS2 comes a new industry and thousands of jobs, 70% of which are expected to be outside of London. When you also consider the jobs which will result from the regeneration already being planned, especially across the Midlands and the North, you begin to see the transformational impact HS2 will have to Britain.”
Transport minister Andrew Jones added: “HS2 will be the new backbone of our national rail network that will help build an economy that works for all. This is a vital project that will deliver a step change in capacity on our rail networks, reducing journey times and unlocking regeneration across our country.
“I welcome this report, which makes clear that HS2 will create thousands of jobs and apprenticeships and will boost industry and skills across Britain as we better connect our cities.”