22,000 jobs boost as HS2 swings to full construction


The Government has hailed the formal start of HS2 full construction, highlighting a 22,000 jobs boom in the next few years.

As the £45bn phase one project formally shifts from enabling works to main construction today, HS2 estimates a jobs bonanza over the next two years as main delivery contractors gear up their workforces.

An estimated 400,000 supply chain contract opportunities for UK businesses will also be created during phase one of HS2.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “HS2 is at the heart of our plans to build back better – and with construction now formally underway, it’s set to create around 22,000 new jobs.

“By creating hundreds of apprenticeships and thousands of skilled jobs, HS2 will fire up economic growth and help to rebalance opportunity across this country for years to come.”

HS2’s Tier One construction partners based in Greater London alone will collectively recruit over 10,000 new jobs as HS2 gears up for major construction.

Mace Dragados JV,

Mace Dragados JV, which this month moved onto the construction site adjacent to Euston station, forecasts that it will need 3,000 workers to help deliver the capital’s new central high speed station.

SCS Railways

Skanska Costain Strabag JV expects to create 4,800 jobs on its Euston approaches and Northolt tunnels sections. There will be employment for around 550 previously unemployed people and 400 apprenticeships.

Align JV

Bouygues, Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick JV expects to recruit to fill 1,200 vacancies, with over 100 opportunities for apprentices to deliver the Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct.

It plans to target recruitment and investment in upskilling local people who are currently unemployed, with a particular focus on women, under 25s and those with disabilities.


Balfour Beatty Vinci Systra needs a workforce of 1,400 to support the construction of Old Oak Common Station. As well as providing over 250 apprenticeship positions, the joint venture is committed to attracting local candidates, of all ages and backgrounds.


HS2’s main works contractor for the West Midlands, the Balfour Beatty Vinci JV along with its supply chain partners, expects to be one of the biggest recruiters in the West Midlands over the next two years.

Up to 7,000 skilled jobs will be required to complete its complex section of the HS2 route.

This includes Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur, and Delta Junction to West Coast Main Line Tie-In (Handsacre Junction).


Eiffage, Kier, BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial – building the section from the Long Itchington Wood site in Warwickshire south to the Chiltern tunnel portals, will recruit over 4,000 roles in the next two years, many based in Milton Keynes, as work ramps up in the area.

HS2 team

HS2 itself is already directly recruiting for 500 new roles over the next three months, with the majority based in Birmingham, as the project moves into the construction phase.

Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2, said: “After 10 years of development and preparatory work, today we can formally announce the start of full construction, unlocking thousands of jobs and supply chain opportunities across the project.”

HS2 is already supporting around 9,000 jobs. During its 20-year construction it will create over 30,000 engineering and construction jobs – including 2,000 apprentices – directly on its sites and many more thousands in the supply chain around the country.

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  • Oct 24, 2019
    Sheffield to be home…

    CODE Co-Living has submitted plans for three building elements: one of 12 storeys, a second of 16 storeys, and the tallest reaching 36 storeys. At almost 117m tall, the main tower would be 16m taller than Sheffield’s current title holder and edge above a 114m tall student scheme currently under construction in Leeds – which is set to be the county’s tallest. The co-living development will provide 1,370 private studio flats for rent, available for both students and non-students. Substantial communal spaces are also incorporated, including dining and café facilities, a 50-piece gymnasium, cinema room, private study spaces and a large first floor south-facing outdoor roof terrace. The building will be operated on a build-to-rent basis, owned and operated by the developer. Nearly 140 flats will be affordable rent for non-students – more than the number of affordable homes delivered across the entire city last year. It will be located on a prominent site to the side of the Vita building, just off Charter Row and close to The Light Cinema complex. Jamie Lewis of CODE, said: “We have been looking for a site in Sheffield for several years. From the outside, it is clear that the city is going places with Heart of the City II and developments on The Moor transforming the city centre. We want to be a part of this.” He added: “We have worked hard..

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  • Jul 25, 2019
    Accident rates among electrical…

    Latest figures collected by the Joint Industry Board on behalf of trade body ECA and Unite the Union show the rate of RIDDOR-reportable accidents fell once again last year to 164 per 100,000 employees. No fatalities were reported during 2018 and the rate of major accidents was also lower than in 2017 at just over 52/100,000. The main causes of injury were falls, slips and trips and there was one reportable injury due to electric shock. Steve Brawley, Chief Executive of the JIB said: It's very encouraging to report that the rate of reportable accidents in our industry continues to fall, and it means that the rate of these accidents is now, remarkably, only slightly more than 10% of what it was in 2001, the year we started to collect data. The 2018 figures mean that the accident rate has fallen nearly 90% since 2001, which is a great achievement. In fact, the number of RIDDOR-reportable “ in a sample of over 13,500 operatives “ is now so low that in 2019 we will be asking companies for additional details of any ‘over one day accidents. While these accidents are not RIDDOR-reportable, this will give us more data to work with in future.  

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  • Jul 17, 2019
    VAT cash-flow crisis looming…

    Thousands of construction companies are facing a 20% drop in cash flow when VAT changes come into force in October. Government experts believe 150,000 firms could be hit by the reverse charge. The changes mean companies in the construction supply chain will no longer receive their 20% VAT payment when they submit bills, the VAT cash will instead be paid direct to HMRC by the customer receiving the service who will reclaim it in the normal way. One worried specialist with a £50m turnover told the reporters: We've estimated that for us as a tier two contractor this will have a negative impact on cash of £2.3m. If you are already running at the limit of lending and can't get more money from your bank and HMRC just plough on as they usually do you could be screwed. Tier twos are already net providers of free credit to Tier one contractors and now we won't be getting that VAT cash in from Tier ones. HMRC has introduced the change to combat missing trader fraud where companies charge and collect VAT payments then disappear owing the tax man. Payroll companies were braced to be hit hard by the changes but they have now been granted an exemption. HMRC said: Employment businesses who supply staff and who are responsible for paying the temporary workers they supply, are not subject to the reverse charge.

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  • Jul 17, 2019
    Manager merry-go-round causing mayhem…

    A revolving door of senior managers is being blamed for causing financial problems at major construction companies. Industry experts believe the merry-go-round of senior staff is often the root cause of contract problems. One senior figure told reporters: definitely a pattern we are seeing more and more of.   You get these people who come in to roles like regional directors who then start chasing work to make their division look healthy to the main board. Experienced staff below them will have their reservations but no-one can really stop the new person in charge. The directors are often incentivised with bonuses for winning new work so the order books fill up with jobs which aren't purely focused on the bottom line. The nature of construction is that those schemes take years to work through and often by that time the directors have moved on to another company. They often leave behind a pile of problems but just walk into a new job. It's a bit like being a football manager. Once that's on your CV you always seem to get a new job no matter how poor your track record is. Obviously it's not the only issue causing problems in construction but it's a real factor and something which will continue to be a problem until a new generation of talent comes through. We've hired supposedly big names from major..

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  • Apr 8, 2019
    Contractors are being warned…

    Officials from the Cabinet Office have written to firms to remind them of the new rules on prompt payment, which come into force this autumn. Minister for Implementation, Oliver Dowden, said: “Prompt payment is critical for all companies helping to deliver public services, particularly small businesses which are the backbone of our economy. “That’s why, from September, if government contractors are late with supplier payments, they could be prevented from winning public contracts until they clean up their act.” Under the new rules, suppliers who bid for government contracts above £5m per annum, who cannot show they are paying 95% of invoices within 60 days, risk being prevented from securing government contracts. The new measures follow further moves to level the playing field for small businesses, including an ambition to pay 90% of the government’s undisputed invoices from SMEs within five days. Suppliers that are not being paid on time are also able to raise complaints and concerns directly to the government through the Public Procurement Review Service.

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  • May 14, 2018
    Venian Recruitment Join The…

    We are pleased to announce that Venian Recruitment are now REC members. This reflects our commitment to operating to the highest standards under the REC Code of Professional Conduct.

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  • Mar 1, 2018
    Shortage of bricks, blocks…

    House builders are being hampered by a shortage of construction materials including roof tiles, bricks and blocks. It has been reported that sites across the country are flagging-up shortages as an increasing problem. One industry source said: “Bricks and blocks are in short supply but the real problem is sourcing enough roof tiles. “Firms are having to look further afield to Europe for potential suppliers now because the domestic supply is stretched to the limit.”   The issue was flagged-up by Taylor Wimpey in its results yesterday. The firm said: “Availability of materials is generally in line with demand but there remain pinch points with key products such as bricks, blocks and roof tiles. “The cost of these key products has risen significantly and whilst other material costs have been stable in 2017 we are experiencing more cost pressure coming into 2018. “The Group has agreed product lines and volumes with key suppliers to mitigate long lead times and shortages.” Persimmon also announced this week that it is building an in-house roof tile production plant which is expected to come on stream later this year. The UK’s largest house builder already has its own brick manufacturing plant.   Persimmon said: “We recognise that with the continued increase in industry output the availability of skilled trade resources and some key materials to support further growth continues to be a constraint.”

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  • Mar 1, 2018
    24 Hour Protest against…

    24-hour protest against IR35 proposed A national day of action against is being proposed by a campaigner. Contractor Mike Gibson, of Changeir35.com, believes a 24-hour event should be used to protest against the of the being extended to the private sector. “[At this early] planning stage”, he said “[the event involves] a march to the Houses of Parliament, a few speeches and a petition [delivered]….to 10 Downing Street.” “The intent is to show the volume of support for and send a clear message that .” Gibson will also build and upload a directory of MPs’ responses to , to record their stance on the rule and create a log of the arguments for and against . But another IR35 critic, Graham Fisher, thinks that despite a consultation on the extension being , officials have likely already decided that it will go ahead. “Our general view is that HM Treasury and HMRC are not accepting any evidence pointing to the public sector changes being anything other than a . “If HMRC continues on their current course we should expect the same to be introduced into the ”. Fisher, who is managing director of accountants Orange Genie added: “In the unlikely event that they recognise the failure of the public sector implementation, any changes might be delayed to 2020.”  

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