To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on progress being made by (a) the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure and (b) other employer-led further education colleges in meeting the skills requirements of the HS2 rail programme.
(a) Officials within DfT are working closely with their opposite numbers in DfE regarding NCATI. DfT are active members of the Steering Group overseeing the Structure and Prospects Appraisal (SPA) being led by DfE’s Further Education Commissioner to ensure its future model is sustainable and delivers on DfT Policy objectives.
(b) HS2 Ltd and its supply chain continue to work with Further Education Colleges on a number of employer and college-led initiatives and programmes. The table below summarises the main activities:
Name of college
Buckinghamshire College Group (Aylesbury, High Wycombe & Amersham)
CITB Construction Skills Fund
EIffage-Kier, Main Works Contractor, bid for and won CITB funded training through a number of training providers including Buckinghamshire College Group from May 2019 -present. Benefitted 180 individuals to date: of those, 153 completed Entry into Construction programme, 15 completed qualifications in both Institute of Environmental Management & Assessment (IEMA) & Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (IOSH), plus a further 8 in IEMA and 4 in IOSH.
Buckinghamshire College Group
Eiffage-Kier and Align, Main Works Contractors, attended careers fairs to talk about career opportunities with young people between Feb 2018 – May 2019
Professional Construction Employers’ Group / T-Level Taskforce
HS2 Ltd has been a member of the Professional Construction Employers’ Group since September 2019, and on the T-Level Taskforce since its inception in December 2019 to assist in development of the T level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning.
Mayor’s Construction Academy
The Mayor’s Construction Academy (MCA) is a London Mayoral initiative to deliver the skilled workforce needed to support London’s housing and infrastructure needs. Ealing, Hammersmith and West London run one of the MCA Hubs that is responsible for co-ordinating the provision of relevant training. HS2 Ltd, Skanska Costain Strabag (SCS Railways), Balfour Beatty Vinci Systra (BBVS) and Align sit on the Employer and Partnership Boards of this MCA Hub to ensure that the training that is delivered and co-ordinated meets HS2’s needs as far as possible.
HS2 Ltd, BBVS and Align sit on the Employer Advisory Board for the Institute of Technology delivered by Harrow College and Uxbridge College, in partnership with Brunel University. This has included supporting a number of activities including an apprenticeship fair and speed networking event at Uxbridge College as part of National Apprenticeship Week in February 2020.
Strategic partnership with the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure
HS2 Ltd, Costain Skanska, SCS Railways, Mace Dragados, BBVS and Align are in active discussions about how we can support Newham College, linked to their strategic partnership with the National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure. This includes the potential for specifically supporting the Institute of Technology they run in partnership with Queen Mary University. Other activities have been supported by HS2, such as an apprenticeship fair held at Newham College’s Stratford campus as part of National Apprenticeship Week in February 2020.
HS2 Ltd, Eiffage-Kier, and Flannery Plant Hire (Tier 2 supplier) have worked collaboratively with Northampton College and there are plans to expand on this work in the future (e.g. virtual careers events)
Careers & Apprenticeship Fair
HS2 Ltd promoted our apprenticeship and graduate opportunities at the Solihull College 2020 Careers & Apprenticeship Fair in March.
South & City College, Birmingham
Women into Construction Project
South & City College delivered the 2-week employability training element of the Women into Construction project in May 2019. Following the 2 weeks employability training, participants then completed a 4-week work placement on the HS2 programme. The project trained a total of 16 women that were previously not in employment. 8 women (50%) progressed into employment or further accredited training. The majority of the employment offers were within the HS2 supply chain.
HS2 Ltd joined our Tier 1 Main Works Civils Contractor Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV) at the Walsall Expo in March 2020. Walsall Expo is held at Walsall College and organised by Walsall Works which is funded by Walsall Council to support local people to find jobs, apprenticeships and access training, while also supporting local businesses that are looking to expand and invest in their future workforce. We were able to promote a number of live opportunities including our apprenticeship and graduate opportunities. BBV were also able to promote their Materials Testing opportunities as well as other live vacancies. In total approximately 1,700 jobseekers attended the event.
Balfour Beatty Vinci, Main Works Contractor, is working with Walsall College to deliver their first T level in Construction: Design, Surveying and Planning.
Rail and Construction Industry Day
HS2 Ltd, Main Works Civils Contractors Balfour Beatty Vinci & Eiffage-Kier along with Enabling Works contractors Laing Murphy & Fusion attended the Warwickshire College Group Rail and Construction Industry day in March 2019. We provided information to college students on careers in the sector along with running workshops on Building Information modelling (BIM)