The leader of Ealing Council Councillor Peter Mason and Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, former cabinet member for decent living incomes and now genuinely affordable and safe homes cabinet member recently visited the Old Oak Common site where HS2 is building its new station.
The council duo were there to see how the construction programme is supporting local residents into both training and employment.
Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA (BBVS), HS2’s construction partner, has been busy on the excavation works ready for the station’s six HS2 platforms, which will be built underground which will serve destinations on the Great Western Main Line, as well as integrating with east–west Elizabeth line services.
During the visit, Councillors Mason and Mahfouz heard that and its contractors have supported 128 unemployed Ealing residents into new careers as well as 27 people taking up apprenticeship programmes.
Huw Edwards, HS2’s project client director for Old Oak Common said: “HS2’s arrival is transforming the local area and helping to transform the lives of local people too. This is one of the biggest transport-led regeneration projects in the country, and it’s vital that local people benefit, now and in the future. We’re delighted over 150 local residents are already playing their part in HS2’s construction, and we’re committed to working with Ealing Council to boost that number going forward.”
18-year-old Ealing resident Tyler Pearce-Scott who began his apprenticeship journey with BBVS in 2021 said: “I found it hard to readjust to classroom-based study after the pandemic and made the difficult decision to leave Elthorne Park Sixth Form in Ealing to find employment.
“Securing an apprenticeship on HS2, which allows me to combine working full-time with a day of online learning, was the perfect fit. This has been a great career move, and I’m delighted that I’ve completed my Level 3 apprenticeship and will now progress onto a degree-level apprenticeship.”
Elliott Murphy, skills, employment and education manager for BBVS said: “We are determined to ensure that local people, like Tyler, become our professional colleagues of tomorrow. Our goal is to leave a sustainable legacy comparable to the iconic station that we are building”.
Commenting on the visit, Councillor Mason said: “Ealing’s unrivalled transport connectivity will be further boosted by the High Speed 2 station at Old Oak Common – but that’s just the start of the benefits that the renewal of the Old Oak site will offer our borough.”
He added: “As part of the UK’s largest and most ambitious regeneration programme, it has already brought thousands of jobs and apprenticeships to the borough and, by adding to the outstanding office and industrial spaces already found here, it will deliver thousands more for generations to come. We were delighted to see for ourselves the progress being made at the site.”