Network Rail has joined construction firms involved in the building of HS2 to set out long-term plans so people in seven London boroughs will benefit from the project.
The Empowering Communities initiative aims to:
- Create jobs and offer training for those experiencing unemployment and homelessness.
- Help young people to develop new science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills and access apprenticeships.
- Work with residents to identify and support community projects and local enterprises.
- Build a sustainable legacy, continuing to benefit local communities even after work is completed.
Network Rail has now joined the others already in the scheme, made up of HS2 Ltd and its contractors Costain, Skanska, STRABAG, Mace Dragados, and Arup. They are together building Britain’s new multi-billion-pound high-speed railway.
Network Rail’s involvement means all partners can better reach local communities in the seven boroughs along the London section of the HS2 route.
James Dean, Network Rail West Coast South route director, said: “We are delighted to be collaborating with industry partners to create opportunities for people in the local area. Euston station sits in the heart of Camden, as well as serving tens of thousands of passengers a day we offer great jobs and training.
“We’re going to put significant people power behind this social legacy project. Everybody at Network Rail gets five days volunteer leave. I hope we can use those days to make a real difference.”
Matthew Gordon, chief executive of Spectra*, said: “As well as collaborating with the HS2 team to drive empathetic recruitment and retention processes towards care leavers across the whole network, Spectra are partnering with Tier 1 suppliers, like Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture to connect to vulnerable and underrepresented youth groups, and to support care leavers into high quality early career and apprenticeship opportunities.
“These opportunities can make a huge difference to young people’s lives, enabling them to access employment, build independent futures, and help shape their own futures.”
Louise Dailly, chair of the Empowering Communities steering group, and head of social sustainability, at Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture, said: “We’re delighted Network Rail has joined the Empowering Communities partnership.
“The programme brings together the strengths of the partner organisations and enables us to deliver more together than we could individually.
“This collaborative approach will boost opportunities for local people and deliver long-lasting benefits in terms of tackling worklessness, homelessness and providing opportunities for local young people, businesses and community projects.”
The seven London boroughs who will benefit from the new scheme are: Brent, Camden, Ealing, Hammersmith & Fulham, Hillingdon, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, and Westminster.
For more information on the Empowering Communities initiative visit: www.hs2.org.uk/empowering-communities/
*Spectra deliver the Care Leaver Covenant- a promise made by private, public or voluntary organisations to provide support for care leavers aged 16-25 to help them to live independently,
Empowering Communities partners are: Arup, Costain, HS2 Ltd, Mace Dragados, Network Rail, Skanska, STRABAG
Photo credit: Network Rail