New placement scheme launched providing youngsters with a chance to work on HS2 in Bucks

The scheme is available to people aged between 16 and 24

By James Lowson
Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 5:09 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th February 2022, 5:10 pm

A new placement scheme has been launched by the construction partner for the HS2 Ltd projects in Bucks and Hertfordshire.

Four 'kickstart' placements are available for people aged between 16 and 24 paying the equivalent of the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage.

Lasting for six months, Align JV, is the company launching the support programme.

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HS2 minister, Andrew Stephenson said: “Levelling up the country is a key priority for the Government and HS2 is at the heart of achieving this.

"We’re not only boosting transport connections across the North and the Midlands but also creating tens of thousands of long lasting jobs across the route in the process.

“I’m delighted Align JV are supporting this through our fantastic Kickstart scheme, which will provide young people looking for work with the opportunity to learn new skills and make new connections on Europe’s biggest infrastructure project.”

Through the scheme successful candidates will be provided with a combination of practical and theoretical learning.

Included within the programme is hands on learning, helping to build the railway.

Placements will be based within a range of different departments including health and safety, and community and stakeholder engagement.

Align JV will organise specific recognised training if that will help apprentices earn future roles.

Broader soft skill sessions are also included in the programme, such as presentation and communication sessions.

Jhen-Nel Swanston, HS2 Ltd’s skills manager said:“This is a fantastic opportunity for those young people who are finding it difficult to secure a job or meaningful upskilling opportunities that will prepare them for the world of work.

“The chance to work side by side with Align JV’s team of experts, who are constructing the railway, really makes this opportunity unique.”

In line with targets set by HS2, which are designed to create thousands of jobs and opportunities for local people along the route of the railway, Align JV has already committed to ensuring that 4% of its workforce is made up of apprentices.

By signing up to the Government’s Kickstart programme it aims to take its commitment to boosting young people’s career prospects a step further.

Siobhan Nevin Align JV HR Manager said:

“We are delighted to be supporting the Kickstart scheme as a way to enable young people to get involved and contribute to the delivery of the Central 1 section of HS2 Phase one, which Align is delivering. This is an exciting opportunity as the Central 1 section includes a 16km twin bore tunnel and a 3.4km viaduct over the Colne Valley.”

There is just two weeks left to apply for this opportunity. The four Kickstart placements will begin on 1 March, and the application process is now open.

Young people who wish to apply and meet the specified criteria (16-24 and claiming Universal Credit) should speak to their Work Coach at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).