Thursday, June 1, 2023
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HS2 launches new tunnelling operative career opportunities

Job seekers looking for a new career, which can open a world of opportunities, are being encouraged to consider joining the team tasked with delivering HS2’s next tunnelling mission.

This is a unique opportunity to join Tunnelcraft, working alongside Balfour Beatty VINCI’s (BBV) dedicated team of tunnelling experts, and play a part in creating a significant stretch of Britain’s new railway.

With work on the next 3.5 mile tunnel set to begin this year, linking Water Orton in Warwickshire and Washwood Heath in Birmingham, BBV’s tunnelling team is seeking to bolster its crew. Together, the new team will operate the giant tunnel boring machine that will excavate earth beneath the ground and line the route with segments to form the 3.5 mile twin bore tunnel.


BBV’s 300-strong tunnelling team has already completed a one-mile bore in Warwickshire and now are on track to breakthrough on the second bore of the tunnel this spring. In readiness for their next mission, around 100 additional roles will be created, and the team’s recruitment programme launches this month.

Julie Venn-Morton, HS2’s Senior Legacy Manager for the region said: “2023 will be a huge year for construction in the West Midlands, so we’re continuing our drive to attract more local people into new careers on HS2.

“This is a great opportunity for those looking for a career with a difference, which really does open up opportunities to work all over the world once qualified.”

Neil Johnson, BBV’s Director of Health, Safety, Wellbeing and Tunnels is keen to see more young people from the region stepping forward to join the team.

Neil said: “We’re working closely with Tunnelcraft to recruit ten ambitious tunnelling operative apprentices who want to learn on the job, while working alongside some of the most experienced people in our industry.

“We’ll invest time and money into training the right candidates, and I’m confident it’s a career move they won’t regret.”

Applications for the 10 Tunnelling Operative apprenticeship roles, which are being delivered in partnership with Tunnelcraft, go live today.

Candidates will spend a total of eight weeks in the classroom in one-week blocks working towards their Level Two Tunnelling Operative apprenticeship, with the remainder of their journey spent getting hands on with the underground and overground tunnelling operations.

Successful candidates can expect to earn around £150 per day during their apprenticeship, which will last for 12-18 months, pending each candidate’s progression.

Shilpi Akbar, Head of Stakeholders and Communities at BBV said: “Less than three years into our construction programme, we have already created thousands of fantastic career opportunities for local people, and I’m delighted that we can now offer this unique opportunity.

“Tunnelling is a highly skilled and highly coveted career, which enables qualified candidates to play a part in some of the world’s greatest infrastructure projects. We are an incubator for talent here at BBV, and we look forward to welcoming and developing ten new recruits on this exciting mission.”

Candidates interested in applying should submit their CV by email to

Photo credit: HS2 Ltd

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