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We have launched our brand-new jobs site to promote the estimated 20,000 roles that Phase One of the project is creating in the months and years ahead, the first time all opportunities to work directly on HS2 have been available to search in one place.
This follows the Prime Minister's announcement of the 22,000 job opportunities available on the high speed rail project, when officially starting construction in September 2020. The initiative has the backing of the Department for Work and Pensions and a Memorandum of Understanding, which sets out the agreed roles and responsibilities of HS2 Ltd and its job brokerage partners, is in place between the two organisations.
The new digital platform, hosted on the HS2 website , offers those looking for work or a change of career, the opportunity to search the very latest vacancies with our construction partners and station contractors delivering the London to Birmingham section of the railway. The jobs board allows prospective candidates to search for vacancies by region or specialism, so they can quickly identify opportunities that match their criteria.
In September 2020, our four main works contractors and two station construction partners estimated that they would create over 20,000 jobs to support the decade-long construction programme for Phase One of the project. The jobs board, highlighting opportunities to work with us within the supply chain, makes it easier for jobseekers to navigate and find a position that matches their career aspirations.
It has been developed as part of a job brokerage partnership model, bringing together local authorities, enterprise partnerships, charities and employment support services along the 140-mile route of the first phase of the new railway. Job brokerage partners will play an integral role in supporting individuals from local communities, disadvantaged and underrepresented groups into employment on the project, in line with objectives set out in our Skills, Employment and Education Strategy.
We have already supported 13,000 jobs, including more than 400 new apprenticeship starts and over 550 previously unemployed individuals. Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we and our contractors also supported over 100 work experience placements to ensure that individuals are actively engaged with the programme and have the very best opportunity to capitalise on future career openings.
The start of main construction works last year was a catalyst for the project, spearheading £12bn of contract opportunities which British businesses are beginning to bid for. As our tier one contractors begin procuring suppliers and services required to deliver their work packages, the number of job opportunities will increase. This heightened demand has created new career pathways and long-term career prospects for individuals at all levels, in both blue and white-collar roles.