Young people in Bucks and Herts urged to Kickstart their career on HS2

Align JV has pledged to provide four Kickstart placements this year as part of its ongoing commitment to support young people from the local area into work.

Kickstart is a Government funded initiative aimed at creating job placements for 16 to 24 year-olds who are on Universal Credit and at risk of long-term unemployment. It forms part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs campaign and is designed to support those who have been adversely affected by the pandemic. Placements are for six months and participants are paid a salary equivalent to the National Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage.

HS2 Minister, Andrew Stephenson said:

“Levelling up the country is a key priority for the Government and HS2 is at the heart of achieving this. We’re not only boosting transport connections across the North and the Midlands but also creating tens of thousands of long lasting jobs across the route in the process.

“I’m delighted Align JV are supporting this through our fantastic Kickstart scheme, which will provide young people looking for work with the opportunity to learn new skills and make new connections on Europe’s biggest infrastructure project.”

The six-month programme will provide candidates with a combination of practical and theoretical learning. The ‘hands on’ element of the training will be provided by Align JV and will see young people working to support the delivery of Britain’s new low carbon railway. Placements will be based within a range of different departments including Health & Safety, and Community & Stakeholder Engagement, allowing candidates to choose opportunities that align to their future career aspirations and interests.

Align JV will also support the learning and development programme, providing employability support to help participants achieve any recognised training needed for the specific roles as well as developing soft skills such as presentation and communication skills.

 Jhen-Nel Swanston, HS2 Ltd’s Skills Manager for the region said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for those young people who are finding it difficult to secure a job or meaningful upskilling opportunities that will prepare them for the world of work.

 “The chance to work side by side with Align JV’s team of experts, who are constructing the railway, really makes this opportunity unique.”

In line with targets set by HS2, which are designed to create thousands of jobs and opportunities for local people along the route of the railway, Align JV has already committed to ensuring that 4% of its workforce is made up of apprentices. By signing up to the Government’s Kickstart programme it aims to take its commitment to boosting young people’s career prospects a step further.

Siobhan Nevin Align JV HR Manager said:

“We are delighted to be supporting the Kickstart scheme as a way to enable young people to get involved and contribute to the delivery of the Central 1 section of HS2 Phase one, which Align is delivering. This is an exciting opportunity as the Central 1 section includes a 16km twin bore tunnel and a 3.4km viaduct over the Colne Valley.”

There is just two weeks left to apply for this opportunity. The four Kickstart placements will begin on 1 March 2022 and the application process is now open. Young people who wish to apply and meet the specified criteria (16-24 and claiming Universal Credit) should speak to their Work Coach at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).