Image credits: HS2, Harrow and Uxbridge College students get hands on with HS2’s construction: Students get hands on with HS2’s construction

Students at Harrow and Uxbridge College (HCUC) are playing their part in the delivery of High Speed Two, Britain’s new zero carbon high speed railway, thanks to a new partnership between the college and HS2’s construction partner Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV).

16-18-year-olds studying towards a BTEC in Construction or a T-Level in Science, which prepares students for a career in Laboratory Sciences, are benefitting from a tailored programme of work experience designed to enhance their studies.

The industry placements with SCS JV, who are delivering the Northolt to London Euston section of Europe’s biggest infrastructure project – HS2, enable students to spend 315 hours, equivalent to 45 days, working on construction-focused assignments. The students SCS JV hosts are playing an active role on HS2, learning how major infrastructure schemes are developed and working alongside a team of specialists in materials laboratories.

HS2 set a commitment to upskilling the next generation and ensuring that the project leaves a lasting skills legacy when it launched its Skills, Employment and Education Strategy in 2018. That commitment is brought to life through its contractors and the thousands of businesses within its supply chain, who each sign up to invest in skills, training and education outcomes. This ensures HS2 will support at least 2,000 apprenticeships, provide two-year graduate training programmes and deliver Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) focused curricular activities in schools along the route of the new railway.

Ambrose Quashie, HS2’s Skills Manager for London said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people from the local area to gain hands on work experience and play their part in delivering Britain’s new railway.

“With two decades of construction work ahead of us, and 34,000 jobs forecast, this partnership provides a meaningful pathway into employment, and I hope the students will feel inspired to progress into roles on HS2 when they finish their studies.”  

 A workforce of around 4,800 will be employed by SCS JV to deliver its main civil engineering contracts on HS2 and around 400 of those roles will be filled by apprentices and graduates.

James Richardson, Managing Director of SCS JV, said:

“SCS JV offers unparalleled opportunities for people to develop a career in our industry. We are proud to engage with communities across our route, allowing them to gain practical experience working in complex programme delivery. The diversity of roles available means there are career opportunities for everyone, and we are proud of our relationship with Harrow and Uxbridge College that will help shape the careers of our stars of the future.”

Dr Darrell DeSouza, CEO and Principal of HCUC said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for our students. Thanks to SCS JV, they will gain insight into the very latest engineering techniques on the UK’s largest infrastructure project.

“This is without a doubt a unique learning experience for any young person on a technical programme, and these courses are an excellent choice for students who want to gain the skills that industry needs and have the option to progress to Higher Education level.

“We would like to thank both SCS JV and HS2 for their support in hosting these placements, and we look forward to seeing how our students benefit from this experience throughout their studies and beyond.”

For more information about the courses on offer at HCUC visit or