Buckinghamshire residents given the opportunity to launch a career in construction
The scale of work to create the embankments and cuttings for Britain’s new high-speed railway is extensive, and the team forecast more local jobs would be created as a result.
A local recruitment campaign resulted in over 1,500 enquiries and the free training programmes have so far led to 63 people securing a new job.
EKFB project director Ignacio Chicharro said: “We’re delighted that Blackwell is going the extra mile to ensure local people benefit from the jobs it is creating.
“Over the next three years, around 12 million cubic metres of earthworks will be delivered on this section of the HS2 route. It’s a huge operation, and it’s fantastic that the local community is playing a part in what we’re delivering.”
Blackwell Earthmoving currently employs around 125 people to help it deliver the programme of work on HS2. Additionally, 13% of the company’s workforce is female and two thirds of its trainees come from the local area.
Blackwell’s resources lead Paul Bird said: “Our contract with HS2 has really enabled us to engage with the community and as a small business, we like to employ local people wherever can.
“We’re about careers, not just jobs, and that’s why we invest heavily in training our workforce. The ability to live and work locally is really important to people and that’s what we can offer, alongside the promise of a long-term career.”
Stephanie Oliver from Aylesbury (pictured above) completed her training as part of the programme and transitioned straight into full-time employment.
“If I’d known there was a role like this for me in construction, I’d have gone for it years ago. I didn’t imagine myself driving a 60-tonne truck, but now I’m here I absolutely love it,” she said.
“This is my first full-time job, and it gives me the security I need to provide for my family. Being local also means I have a great work-life balance, and for me that’s really important.”
To register an interest in training opportunities with Blackwell Earthmoving, contact email@example.com.