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HS2 boost to Laing O’Rourke factory

13 September 2018 | By Neil Gerrard

The HS2 programme is set to provide a boost to Laing O’Rourke’s Explore Manufacturing factory, while the overall project is predicted to support 15,000 jobs in total by 2020.

Explore Manufacturing has won a contract with LM joint venture (between Laing O’Rourke and Murphy) to supply major bridges as part of the early works on phase one of the project.

The modular components will be manufactured at Explore Industrial Park in Worksop, North Nottinghamshire and then brought to site in the West Midlands for assembly.

The deal is expected to create 35 new jobs at the company, which also recruits a minimum of four apprentices a year.

Alan Clucas, director of Explore Manufacturing, said: “We are proud to be working on the biggest rail infrastructure programmes in the country. For Explore Manufacturing it means a significant contribution in digital design and high-quality offsite manufacturing, which shortens time needed on site, and has big benefits in safety, efficiency and programme costs.”

HS2 claimed that it has already supported 7,000 roles through the project, with over 2,000 businesses winning work so far. A total of 100 apprentices are already working on the scheme, with 2,000 expected over its lifetime.

As the programme moves to construction, the total number of roles supported is forecast to rise to 15,000.

In addition to the jobs created at Explore Manufacturing, Balfour Beatty Vinci is expected to employ thousands of people through the West Midlands and has already created 19 higher-level and degree apprentices on the project.

The Eiffage Kier joint venture has recruited 20 apprentices on its contract to deliver main works on the central section of HS2’s phase one between London and Birmingham, and groundworks contractor CA Blackwell has already created 500 jobs in Buckinghamshire thanks to two contracts it has won with HS2.

And Mott MacDonald has created over 300 jobs and apprenticeships around the UK, set to double in 2019, thanks to its contract through Balfour Beatty Vinci.

Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2 said: "Our skills strategy, launched today, shows how we will create a sustainable pipeline of jobs and skills for companies across the whole country, which boost regional economies and help Britain compete internationally.

"Our programme will tackle the skills challenges faced by the wider transport infrastructure sector, and ensure the UK has the best skills to deliver HS2 as well as major infrastructure projects in the future."

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