Open Doors, which this year runs from March 13-18, enables young people, and those looking for a change of career, to experience construction first-hand. HS2 is offering opportunities to explore its sites between London and the West Midlands, including the Chilterns Tunnel south portal, Curzon Street Station, Old Oak Common Station, Wendover Dean Viaduct and Willesden Logistics Hub.

HS2’s construction partners providing the site visits include Align (Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick); BBV (Balfour Beatty Vinci); BBVS (Balfour Beatty Vinci Systra); EKFB (Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall); and SCS (Skanska, Costain and Strabag).

HS2’s skills and employment supply chain manager, Rebecca Young, said it was a great opportunity for those interested in a career in construction to meet people building stations, viaducts and tunnels.

“With over 900 apprentices already on board and plans to recruit hundreds more in the months and years ahead, we hope to inspire the next generation to play a part in future phases of HS2,” she said.

Build UK chief executive Suzannah Nichol said Open Doors aimed to recruit the next generation “by showing them what goes on behind the site hoardings”.

“We are delighted to be partnering with HS2, which is opening 16 fantastic sites across the country, including tunnels, viaducts, stations and training centres. This variety is what Open Doors is all about and will show visitors just how many opportunities and interesting careers there are in construction,” Nichol said.

In November last year, HS2 hosted Build UK on its Long Itchington Wood Tunnel North Portal Site near Leamington Spa to launch Open Doors 2023, attended by more than 25 young people from Walsall and Warwickshire Colleges.

The events will give visitors an insight into a career in construction and an introduction to the range of opportunities. In addition to familiar site-based construction roles, many of the positions available are based externally, with companies requiring a back-office support network, front-of-house sales teams, and technical roles.

EKFB programme director Emmanuel Rossignol highlighted some of the experiences available during Open Doors 2023.

“From learning more about our carbon-saving viaducts, environment projects and construction achievements to date – but also the jobs, apprenticeships and community outreach opportunities we are offering this year – there is something for everyone. This includes a visit to one of our many ecology sites that forms part of HS2's green corridor, the opportunity to have a go at virtually driving a piece of heavy machinery in one of our plants simulators and taking a mini-bus tour of one of our live sites to see the works taking place,” Rossignol said.

Events will run throughout the week across sites spanning the length of the HS2 Phase One route.

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