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HS2 workforce tops 20,000 landmark after one year

HS2 is supporting over 20,000 construction jobs just one year on from the formal start of construction on phase one from London to the West Midlands.

The latest official employment figures reveal how fast the infrastructure project has geared up having continued throughout the covid-19 pandemic.

Contracts have already been awarded to over 2,200 businesses. A further £25bn worth of opportunities are expected to flow out into the wider supply chain over the coming years.

Budget so far

About £11bn (actual prices) has been spent so far, including land and property provisions. Around £12.6bn (2019 prices) has additionally been contracted, with the remaining amount yet to be awarded.

The overall budget for phase one, including Euston, is nearly £44.6bn (2019 prices). This is composed of the target cost of £40.3bn and Government-held £4.3bn contingency. The target cost includes a contingency delegated to HS2 of £5.6bn for managing the risk and uncertainties that are an inherent part of delivering major projects.


HS2 measures to upskill local people who are out of work with the training and accreditation have provide 1,100  formerly unemployed with long-term jobs.

Aerial view of HS2’s Chiltern Tunnel South Portal in Hertfordshire

This number is expected to increase in the months and years ahead as the pace of major construction work increases and HS2’s journey extends north.

Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2, said: “We’re enormously proud of the progress we’ve made on HS2 since the Prime Minister gave us the go-ahead last year, and despite the challenges of the pandemic.

“We’ve already launched our first two tunnelling machines, with more to launch in the coming months, and construction of our stations and depots are well underway.”

“HS2 is moving forward, creating jobs, enhancing skills, benefiting UK businesses and building a low carbon, high capacity railway that will change the way we travel in Britain.”

Progress at the first of the 10-mile long Chilterns tunnel drives

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