Launch of HS2’s giant London tunnelling machine sparks local job opportunities


The launch of HS2’s giant tunnel boring machine, which set off on its five-mile journey from West Ruislip to Greenford on 6th October, has sparked new training and employment opportunities for residents in seven London boroughs.

HS2’s construction partner, Skanska Costain STRABAG (SCS), is working in partnership with Danny Sullivan Group, Camden Council and TheForge@ParkRoyal (part of the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation) to deliver a bespoke training and work placement programme especially for residents who live in Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hillingdon, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster.

The three-week training programme, delivered with West London College and United Colleges Group, starts on 24th October and will be followed by a four-week paid work placement, to enable candidates to get a feel for what it’s like to work in construction, and as part of the team operating the giant 2,000 tonne machines. 

During its construction programme SCS will launch five more tunnel boring machines, creating a total of 26 miles of tunnel beneath the capital, ready to transport HS2’s state of the art British-built bullet-style trains into the terminus station at Euston.

Ambrose Quashie, HS2’s Skills Manager for Greater London said:

“We’re teaming up with some brilliant partners, as we know they are well placed to ensure that local people, who are most in need, benefit from these unique training and employment opportunities on HS2.”

“Tunnelling is a highly-skilled career for life, and this is a fantastic opportunity to join the team tasked with constructing some of the most challenging sections of the whole HS2 route.”

The training programme will prepare candidates for their four-week paid work placement. They’ll gain the vital construction and health and safety accreditation they need to begin working alongside and learning from some of the most experienced engineers in the industry.

Skanska Costain STRABAG contractor, Danny Sullivan Group, will be looking for standout candidates throughout the programme and will invest in providing tunnelling operative apprenticeships to those eager to earn, learn and progress into this specialist engineering role.

Frankie Jones, Skills Employment and Education Manager at Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture said:

“HS2 is a project for future generations, and this extends to inspiring the next generation of the future stars in our industry. It is great to be able to offer a unique opportunity for people to get involved in tunnelling, whilst learning about our programme of construction and helping us construct the railway.”

Camden Council and TheForge@ParkRoyal will play a vital role in supporting local residents who are out of work, and live in one for the seven qualifying boroughs, with their job applications. This forms part of an ongoing ‘job brokerage’ partnership with HS2, which is designed to ensure that local people benefit from the thousands of employment opportunities HS2’s construction is creating.

Billy Seago, Manager at TheForge@ParkRoyal said:

“We’re excited to join HS2, SCS and wider partners to deliver this important training opportunity. The training programme offers a fantastic opportunity for residents to gain skills to be an important part of a ground-breaking project like HS2, while also being paid.”

“TheForge @ParkRoyal has already placed more than 150 west Londoners into training and employment and we encourage residents to consider this opportunity and get in touch with us to find out more.”  

For more information about the programme, contact Camden’s Council’s King’s Cross Construction Skills Centre or TheForge@ParkRoyal.


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