BMet set to make employers HS2 ready

BMet has pledged to meet the HS2 skills challenge with support from leading rail bodies. The College came together with the National College for High Speed Rail, the National Skills Academy for Rail and HS2 Limited to encourage businesses to explore recruitment, workforce development and HS2 tender opportunities.

“Although the HS2 skills gap is one of our region’s greatest challenges, we are on our way to tackling this,” said BMet Principal, Andrew Cleaves.  “Higher level training and qualifications are part and parcel of the 65,000 new rail-led jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships being created between now and 2022. 

“Many more employers recognise this, which means this is the right time for BMet to introduce our new rail-led pathways.  These include opportunities for individuals to progress to university-level and beyond.

He continued: “The technical and specialist training provided also addresses the requirements for HS2’s support infrastructure and digital frameworks.”

The National College for High Speed Rail is also championing the pathway approach to skills levels.  Addressing employers at BMet’s rail event, Jackie Grubb, Principal of the new college said: “We are very much about collaborating with local education and training providers to promote and provide training routes and learner journeys that boost skills levels and workforce diversity.

“We also recognise the importance of raising young peoples’ aspirations, particularly while they are in school so that they are better aware of what the industry offers.”

BMet is currently in the process of joining the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR’s) specialist training provider network, NSAR Connect, which acts as a virtual national network for rail training and professional development nationwide.

Nigel Eagers, Project Consultant for NSAR added: “NSAR Connect helps to match people who have already applied to join the rail industry to FE colleges and other sector employers.

“We really support BMet’s engagement with the rail sector, working with employers to provide apprenticeships and helping to promote the wide range of career pathways in rail.  Improving diversity is vital for our industry.  BMet is making a key contribution to this by spreading the message about roles in conventional, classic and high speed rail in order to meet our future skills needs.”

Joanne Billing of HS2 Ltd and Councillor Brett O’ Reilly, Cabinet Member for Jobs and Skills at Birmingham City Council also spoke at the event about boosting skills levels locally while focusing on equality, diversity and inclusion.