Businesses in Scotland are already benefiting from contracts with HS2, and more are being encouraged to get on board with the project, creating jobs and skills opportunities for people in Scotland.
Over 160 business representatives from firms throughout Scotland attended an event in Glasgow, hosted by Scottish Enterprise, to find out more about the work packages available and how they can position themselves to be part of the team building the UK’s new high speed rail line.
Speaking to business leaders in Glasgow, Mark said: “The HS2 project is a once in a lifetime opportunity for firms from Scotland to get involved and help deliver Britain’s new high speed railway. The scale and longevity of the project means that there will be thousands of opportunities for businesses available.
“We’re looking for everything from engineering to catering services, designers to ecologists, and concrete to electronic components. It is not just about track and trains. I encourage any business interested in working on HS2 to look out for the opportunities on offer.”
Scottish Enterprise Portfolio Director for High Value Manufacturing, Julia Brown, said: “Along with our partner government agencies, we are keen to support and encourage companies to access the £600 billion UK pipeline for infrastructure spend over the next 10 years. HS2 is by far the largest of these projects, with UK Government committed spend of £55.7 billion. Clearly there is a keen interest in Scotland with over 160 delegates from over 100 companies coming to Glasgow today to meet with HS2 and we encourage all companies interested to engage with us, access support and be competition ready.”
The size of the HS2 project means there will be thousands of opportunities within the HS2 supply chain, across many business sectors, requiring a wide range of capabilities, over a number of years that will be suitable for suppliers of all types and sizes. It is expected that every 10 direct tier one major works contracts will result in over 10,000 indirect supply chain opportunities. There are 2,000 companies already supporting the project, with over 70% of these SMEs.
Last year, HS2 Ltd launched its Skills, Education and Employment Strategy, setting out interventions that will ensure that the UK not only has the skills to deliver the HS2 project, but to become a world leader in high speed rail. At peak construction, 30,000 jobs will be supported by the project and 2,000 apprentices will be on offer.
HS2 trains will also be arriving in Scotland from 2026, bringing journey times from London to Glasgow to below 4 hours for the first time. When the full Y network opens in 2033, journey times between London and Edinburgh and London and Glasgow will fall to 3 hours 40 minutes, and connections with Birmingham and the North West of England will be improved.
Work is well underway on HS2, with 62 live sites, servicing over 250 work locations across Phase One. There is a huge amount of work going on including land clearance, habitat creation, tree planting, demolitions, archaeology, road improvement works, utility diversions and compound creation, to prepare for the new railway.