A partnership between HS2’s West Midlands construction partner, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV), and Walsall Works is helping unemployed Walsall residents to access training, develop new skills and start building a career on HS2.

The work trial scheme is open to Walsall residents aged 25 and over, who are currently out of work and want to earn, learn and gain valuable work experience ahead of progressing into permanent employment. The placements are ideally suited to those looking for office-based roles where they will get to work as part of a wider team.

Eligible candidates will be offered an eight-week paid placement with BBV, with opportunities available in their HR, Facilities, Procurement and Finance teams. The placements will allow candidates to get a feel for what it’s like to work as part of a team supporting Europe’s biggest infrastructure project. Those that progress and impress will be given the opportunity to extend their placement and ultimately transfer into full time employment.

Julie Venn Morton, Senior Legacy Manager at HS2 said:

“We’re delighted to join forces with our job brokerage partner, Walsall Works, who share our drive to ensure that local residents benefit from career opportunities on HS2. Our paid placement programmes have been hugely successful in supporting people of all ages and backgrounds back into the world of work, with promising career prospects for those that successfully complete their placement. I’m confident this new partnership with Walsall Works will be equally successful.”

Across the West Midlands, over 600 people who were out of work now have full-time jobs on HS2. Balfour Beatty VINCI want to see more people from Walsall stepping forward to join its workforce, which is expected to peak at around 7,000 as its construction programme from Warwickshire to Staffordshire progresses.

Shilpi Akbar, Head of Stakeholder and Communities at Balfour Beatty VINCI said:

“At Balfour Beatty VINCI, we remain focussed on providing employment opportunities for people across the region and encouraging new entrants to the construction and infrastructure industry. Our latest partnership with Walsall Works is testament to how we continue to go above and beyond to support unemployed people; helping them to jumpstart their careers while working on one of the most exciting projects in Europe.“

Walsall Works is an award winning initiative 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.

BBV is expected to be one of the region’s largest recruiters over the next two years, and its partnership with Walsall Works is a further sign of its commitment to ensure that local people benefit from the broad range of jobs HS2’s construction is creating.

Councillor Adrian Andrew, Deputy Leader and Portfolio for Regeneration at Walsall Council said:

“The collaboration between Balfour Beatty Vinci and Walsall Works is providing our residents an insight into the development of HS2 and will help to raise career aspirations for those who apply for work or participate in training and work placements”.

To find out more about the paid placement opportunities on HS2, contact Walsall Works