THE HS2 construction project is rolling into the Midlands – and Redditch companies are being urged to get on board.
And at a top level seminar organised by Council Leader Bill Hartnett, borough officers and North Worcestershire Economic and Regeneration, five keynote speakers told an assembly of 45 local business leaders of the opportunities available to local companies.
“The opportunities available are amazing – HS2 is not just about trains and stations, there are hundreds of contracts to be won, and I really want Redditch to have a slice of the cake,” said Councillor Hartnett.
The project is the biggest in Europe with £2.75billion of work available before even a track is laid.
Jobs available range from archaeologists to engineers with even drone pilots required.
“They are going to need everything from digger drivers to people to fit windows and doors to painters and carpet fitters and people to make the bacon sandwiches and pour the cups of tea. The range is enormous,” said Coun Hartnett.
The seminar featured speakers from the West Midlands Combined Authority, HS2 procurement, the growth manager for the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and the University of Wolverhampton on upskilling businesses.
“They are anxious for small and medium enterprises to get involved – and there’s a massive skills gap too – for the civil contracts they are looking to take on 2,000 apprentices,” said Coun Hartnett.
“They’ll be creating 4.9km of tunnels, laying 216km of track, building four new stations.
“They’ll be removing one million trees, planting seven million more, there will be landscaping and design work.
“My message is, whatever your business the chances are it will have something to do with HS2 and I would urge you to get involved.”
For more details on the contracts available search HS2 contract opportunities on the internet and go to the government website.