HS2 Ltd hosted Build UK on a busy construction site in Warwickshire for the national launch of Open Doors 2023, which takes young people and those looking for a change of career behind the site hoardings to experience construction first-hand.
The launch was held at HS2’s Long Itchington Wood Tunnel north portal site near Leamington Spa and was attended by over 25 young people from Walsall and Warwickshire Colleges.
The site is managed by HS2’s contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV) and is where the tunnel boring machine – Dorothy – is being prepared to begin the second bore of the one-mile twin bore tunnel under woodland.
HS2 has partnered with Build UK – the leading representative organisation for the UK construction industry - to offer a number of construction sites for next year’s Open Doors event, which will run across the country from Monday 13 - Saturday 18 March 2023.
A wide range of organisations will be taking part, offering site visits across the UK, with projects ranging from tunnels to skyscrapers, as well as offices, factories and other facilities to demonstrate the off-site roles across the sector.
At the launch, the young people heard about the massive tunnelling operation currently taking place on the site. They also learned about the types of careers available on HS2, which is currently supporting nearly 30,000 jobs, including over 950 apprentices.
Warwickshire County Council is collaborating with HS2 Ltd to identify and promote future employment opportunities for young people in the area.
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council, said: “The scale of the construction of HS2 railway across Warwickshire presents an opportunity for young people in our county to gain a career in one of the wide range of roles which contribute to delivering national infrastructure.
“This initiative provides young people with a first-hand experience of industry and will hopefully inspire many to progress into construction and engineering roles.
“We are encouraging local schools and colleges to forge links with the HS2 project and the Open Doors scheme helps to provide that vital first step on the career journey.”
During the week-long programme of events next March, visitors will get a unique insight into a career in construction by going behind the site hoardings to experience the fantastic range of opportunities available in construction. In addition to familiar site-based construction roles, many of the positions available are based externally, with companies requiring a back-office support network, front-of-house sales teams, and cutting-edge technical roles.
With the construction industry needing to recruit over 53,000 new entrants every year for the next five years to maintain output, attracting young people to consider a career in the sector is essential. The event aims to challenge perceptions and encourage young people and those looking for a change of career to consider construction, Open Doors highlights the diverse range of opportunities available, including thousands of apprenticeship places.
Over 10 sites are already registered and available for visitors to explore throughout Open Doors Week. New sites will continue to be added until the end of February and will be available to book via the Open Doors website.
Organisations interested in opening a site to the public can email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Groups and individuals interested in visiting a site can book from 9 January 2023, but large groups should make contact early through the website.