HS2 celebrates Apprentices Award by highlighting outstanding female apprentice on International Women in Engineering Day

HS2 Ltd has announced that it has been awarded the Platinum accreditation from Investors in People for its ‘We invest in Apprentices’ framework.

Platinum is the highest-level accreditation and is awarded to organisations who can demonstrate that their apprentices are treated ‘in a truly individual way’.

The assessment process, which included detailed interviews with apprentices, examined the measures that HS2 Ltd has put in place to support, develop, and invest in individuals to ensure that apprentices are given every opportunity to thrive.

Karen Davis, HS2 Ltd’s Talent Manager said:

“We’re delighted to have achieved this accreditation for the high standard of learning, on the job training and support that we provide for our apprentices.

 “An apprenticeship with HS2 is a unique opportunity, and we look forward to welcoming even more talented individuals into this business later this year to begin their career on Britain’s new railway.”

Furthermore, as organisations across the world celebrate and recognise the important role that women play in the engineering sector for International Women in Engineering Day 2021, HS2 Ltd has chosen to highlight recent apprentice, Julia.

The teenager from West London always enjoyed maths and science subjects at school, but she hadn’t considered that a career in engineering might be for her. Now, at just 18, she’s part of the team helping to deliver one of Europe’s biggest infrastructure projects – HS2.

Julia has joined HS2’s construction partner the Skanska, Costain and STRABAG (SCS) joint venture, who are constructing the 26.4km section of HS2’s high speed network leading to the southern terminus at Euston. 95% (21km) of the route they are building will be in tunnels, shaped by the launch of seven giant tunnel boring machines.

Images on South Ruislip vent shaft site, and apprentice Julia Podlinska

Having joined the team as a graduate civil engineering apprentice, Julia is currently working as part of a small team tasked with constructing a vent shaft that will connect to the London tunnels.

The opportunity to begin her career with SCS, working on HS2, is beyond what she ever considered achievable. Just twelve months ago, Julia was anxiously awaiting her A-Level results, and now she’s part of the 16,000-strong workforce transforming Britain’s rail network and helping the country to achieve a net-zero carbon future. 

Julia said:

“I really couldn’t ask for a bigger or better start to my career than working on HS2. This graduate apprenticeship will enable me to continue my studies, whilst working alongside some of the most talented people in the industry.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m so proud to be part of it.”

HS2 has committed to creating 2,000 apprenticeships over the life cycle of the project and is on track to reach its target. Encouraging more women into the sector is a priority set out in its Skills, Employment and Education and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategies and forms part of its overall commitment to upskill the next generation ready to deliver the UK’s pipeline of future infrastructure projects.

The design and delivery of Britain’s new railway will support over 30,000 jobs and HS2 wants women to feel empowered to step forward and consider applying for roles which will enable them to forge a successful career in the sector.

Kate Myers, HS2’s Head of Skills, Employment and Education said:

“The STEM workshops we deliver in schools align to the national curriculum and as Julia has shown, they really do open students’ eyes to the broad range of careers that major infrastructure projects create.

“Through our work with schools, colleges and our job brokerage partners, we inspire to hire women of all ages to apply for a job with us and get onboard with HS2.”

For more information about careers, apprenticeship, and graduate opportunities within HS2 and its supply chain visit hs2.org.uk/careers

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