Major step forward for National College for High Speed Rail as construction starts

The National College for High Speed Rail took a significant step forward on Monday 9 May, as construction officially began on its two sites in Doncaster and Birmingham.
The breaking ground ceremony launched the official start of construction on the two sites, in Doncaster’s Lakeside and Birmingham’s university district.  The College is on track to open its doors to students in September 2017.

This is the latest milestone for the new high tech training facility, which will provide Britain’s workforce with the specialist training, skills and qualifications required to build HS2 and future rail infrastructure projects.

Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, said: “It is fantastic to see construction starting on the National College for High Speed Rail, a very significant project for both the UK and the future of Doncaster and our young people.

“One of my priorities is to bring more highly skilled jobs to the borough which local people are able to benefit from, and the College will play a central role in delivering these kind of opportunities.

“Rail is in our blood in Doncaster, and we have a proven track record of delivering world-class engineering and infrastructure projects that makes us the perfect location for the College.”

Minister of State for Transport Robert Goodwill, said: “This landmark moment means we are one step closer to seeing students walk through the doors of the College in 2017, learning the cutting-edge skills we need to deliver HS2 and world-beating rail infrastructure.

“This shows the transformational effect that HS2 is already having on our country - boosting skills, generating jobs and supporting economic growth – before spades are in the ground next year.”

Terry Morgan, Chair of the Corporate Board for the National College for High Speed Rail, said: “The National College for High Speed Rail is progressing at an excellent pace and I am delighted that construction is underway on both sites in Doncaster and Birmingham.

“The College will have a major and hugely positive impact on the ability of the rail industry to develop a multi-skilled specialist British workforce, capable of building HS2 and future infrastructure projects.

“It will be a catalyst for growth in both Doncaster and Birmingham that will bring new investment into the area and provide highly skilled jobs for local people.”

Doncaster Council and Birmingham City Council have carried out significant work in partnership with HS2 Ltd to help set up the structure of the College and develop the curriculum.

The College will equip thousands of students with the highly technical engineering skills required to build, operate and maintain a railway, including a strong emphasis on practical and virtual learning.

It will be open to a wide range of people including new entrants, existing workforce, students studying for a foundation degree in rail engineering, access students, mature entrants, higher apprentice rail engineering students, progression from L3 diploma rail engineering, continuous professional development and career changers.

Beth West, HS2 Ltd Commercial Director and member of the College Board, said: “The National College for High Speed Rail will help re-define what it means to be employed by the rail industry by attracting new people and providing the opportunity to create the diverse workforce that the industry aspires to.

“It is vital that we act now to ensure we have enough skilled people to build HS2and the College will provide specialist vocational training for the next generation of engineers and apprentices.”

HS2 will improve capacity across Britain’s rail network, shorten journey times between major cities and boost the economy. It will support up to 100,000 jobs nationwide, create around 25,000 jobs during construction of Phases One and Two and create 2,000 apprenticeships.