How is the HS2 Railway Network encouraging young people to explore construction and engineering careers?
The construction industry has had a recruitment issue – that is not likely to be news to many people. Young talent has failed to flow into careers in construction and engineering in recent years and, as a result, there are some significant skills gaps and shortages. What is often required in such as situation is the inspiration of a significant project that is very visible and which encourages young people to want to get involved in this type of work. The new HS2 Railway Network is one of the most ambitious construction and engineering projects in Europe – in terms of inspiring the next generation it is working wonders.
What will HS2 bring to the UK?
As well as the advantages of a high speed rail connection, shortening commuter times and providing more capacity for passengers, HS2 will also generate jobs and construction roles. It’s also predicted to have a significant impact on helping to reduce the skills gaps in the construction and engineering sectors. This is particularly so as an official education programme has been set up to help motivate young people to choose STEM careers, no matter what their background.
The HS2 education programme
A key part of the HS2 project has been setting up an education programme that is designed to give teachers resources and to help inspire a new generation to take an interest in careers in construction and engineering. This has included a number of key initiatives, including:
The Zoom Train
This is a practical activity that is designed for children aged 7 to 16 years old. It can be incorporated into numerous educational pathways, including art, maths, physics and English. A template is provided that is then used to create a powertrain with a balloon to effect the movement. The activity can be set up as a competition with the winners being those that create the fastest train.
Route Options Project
An analytic task that is aimed at 14 – 18 year olds, this activity requires participants to look at options for four potential routes for a new railway. There is no ideal answer so it’s necessary to have a comprehensive analysis of pros and cons including a range of environmental and economic factors.
Many of those involved in the HS2 project have signed up to be education ambassadors. They are mentors available for careers fairs, interactive workshops and events and also to help children identify their abilities and how these might work in construction and engineering.
Apprenticeships and the HS2 graduate scheme
For those who have reached a certain level there is the potential to be accepted onto an HS2 apprenticeship or as part of the graduate scheme for the project. These are ideal for helping young people explore the vast range of options that are available in terms of careers in the industry.
The HS2 project has dedicated time and resources to helping to nurture the next generation of construction and engineering talent.
At RG Group we believe it’s crucial for every substantial construction project to be proactive like this. Get in touch to talk to us about your project requirements