HS2 delivers a much-needed boost to regional economies

Over 30,000 people are now helping to build the new HS2 high speed network linking the UK’s first and second cities, with 3,236 UK firms supplying goods, services, and materials to support the project’s construction — bolstering the regions’ economies.

Employment numbers grew by 455 between July and September 2023, taking HS2’s total workforce 30,204 — the highest figure to date.

The employment boost reflects the scale of progress on the London to Birmingham network during the summer months.

With record numbers of jobs created and sustained across the country, HS2 continues to deliver a much-needed boost to regional economies.

The number of UK businesses in HS2’s supply chain also increased in the last quarter, with 144 more companies winning work.

The sharp focus on tackling unemployment, and creating a skilled workforce for the future, also progressed at pace.

In the last quarter, 298 people who were unemployed benefitted from bespoke training programmes which led to them starting new careers on the project.

The total number of formerly unemployed people who are now working on HS2 has reached 3,826.

HS2’s long-term investment in apprenticeships also continued, as some 81 new apprentice starts were recorded during July and September, taking the total number of new apprentice starts since Royal Assent to 1,380.

Natalie Penrose, head of legacy at HS2, said: “We made a cast iron commitment to ensuring HS2’s construction would support thousands of young people, and the unemployed, into meaningful careers.

“Three years into our heavy civils works, we’ve achieved just that.

“We remain focused on our goal of creating 2,000 apprenticeships and helping as many people as possible to upskill, retrain and start a new career.”

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