HS2 is working with Women into Construction (WiC), an independent not-for-profit organisation, to help more women in the Midlands launch a career in the construction sector.
A new four-week bespoke training programme, which starts in October, will combine two weeks of training, a two-week work placement on HS2 and 1-2-1 support from WiC. Childcare and transport costs are both provided, whilst on placement, and HS2 hopes this will encourage women that want to return to the workplace, or start a new career, to consider taking part.
On successful completion of the course, candidates will gain a construction skills accreditation that enables them to work on site, ready to start a new career. The work placement element of the course is varied, with candidates able to select between either site or office based roles including Project Management, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Engineering, reflecting the breadth of career opportunities in the sector.
Beatriz Ramos Albert, HS2’s Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability Apprentice who is co-ordinating the programme said: “Our partnership with WiC is now in its fourth year and we’ve supported local women from a broad range of backgrounds, whether university graduates, or new mums returning to the workplace, to start new careers.
“I’d encourage anyone looking for help to get back into work to come along to our information day. The four-week course is free of charge and is a great way for women to boost their confidence, gain experience and link up with companies in our supply chain that are actively recruiting.”
25-year-old Riswana from Coventry graduated from HS2’s Women into Construction programme in January. She has now secured a full-time engineering role with HS2 contractor, Mott MacDonald.
Riswana said: “I was struggling to find work after studying and it really knocked my confidence. I joined the programme and spent two weeks on placement with the team working to deliver HS2’s Curzon Street Station.
“The work experience, and one-to-one support I received with my CV and interview technique, was exactly what I needed. Within no time, I’d secured a job in engineering. I haven’t looked back.”
HS2 invests heavily in upskilling the unemployed and supporting people into jobs. 1,123 people from the West Midlands who were out of work have now started a new career on HS2, having accessed free training and fast-track employment programmes.
9,750 people are helping to build HS2 in the Midlands and HS2 hopes that its partnership with Women into Construction will help more women to launch their careers in the sector.
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