Press Release

Balfour Beatty VINCI HS2 joint venture set to be the largest HS2 recruiter in the West Midlands

14 September 2018


Balfour Beatty VINCI, the long-established joint venture between two global infrastructure leaders, is contributing to the thousands of jobs being created by all joint ventures across HS2. 

Nineteen higher level and degree apprentices covering Civil Engineering, Quantity Surveying and Project Management are already working for the joint venture with 29% of new recruits being female. Apprentices are already making a direct contribution to the project with Apprentice Engineer Matthew Lofts scooping the Future Face of Industry 2018 at the regional awards.

Thousands of people will be required to construct HS2 throughout the region and Balfour Beatty VINCI will be offering numerous opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds within the West Midlands. Balfour Beatty VINCI is working closely with the National College of High Speed Rail as well as local authorities and charities such as The Princes Trust and Remploy to bring new people into the sector and close the skills gap.

Shilpi Akbar, Skills, Employment and Education lead at Balfour Beatty VINCI, said, “We are drawing up plans to be the largest recruiter in the West Midlands and by working on the HS2 project we aim to address current workforce challenges, alongside the pressing need to transform and modernise the construction sector. 

“Our planning and delivery in how the region can access these jobs is crucial. We will be working with Jobcentre Plus and the National Careers’ job brokerage service to promote these opportunities. We aim to also attract local unemployed and underemployed young people and adults from diverse backgrounds including people who may need additional or specialist support.”

Anesha Malhan, Balfour Beatty VINCI Apprentice Civil Engineer said, “My path to be a part of Balfour Beatty VINCI and the HS2 project was straightforward – I love being at the forefront of new ideas and technologies and getting into high speed rail was one of the best ways of doing so in the UK right now.

“I actually love my job! But what’s even better is the support Balfour Beatty VINCI has given me. We know that everyone is here for the same reasons - to learn and develop our skills and work together to excel in our chosen career of civil engineering and high speed rail.

“Young women are enormously underrepresented in rail and engineering and yet we stand to make a massive contribution. It makes sense to use the best and brightest to advance the pace of technological innovation and so opening up the industry to encourage women to join is a fantastic way to broaden the talent pool. I work with some incredibly talented men and women but hope that by getting into high speed rail I encourage other equally talented women to become engineers too.”

Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd said, “Our skills strategy, launched today, shows how we will create a sustainable pipeline of jobs and skills for companies across the whole country, which boost regional economies and help Britain compete internationally.

“Our programme will tackle the skills challenges faced by the wider transport infrastructure sector, and ensure the UK has the best skills to deliver HS2 as well as major infrastructure projects in the future.”

HS2 Minister Nusrat Ghani MP said, “HS2 will provide the backbone of our future rail network and is already driving jobs and economic growth across the country. HS2 already supports over 7,000 jobs – forecast to reach around 15,000 by 2020 – and is building the talented workforce of the future that this transformative project needs.

“The ambitious programme of skills, employment and education set out today will see the economic benefits of HS2 fully realised across the UK, boosting productivity and sharing prosperity across the country.”

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Anne Milton said, “Apprenticeships offer incredible opportunities for young people. Everyone studying an apprenticeship with HS2 will be able to look back and say they played a role creating our country’s future. Not only that, the apprentices are also learning exactly the skills that future employers are looking for – that’s what apprenticeships are all about.

“HS2 is creating 2,000 apprenticeships and is a fantastic example of a national project that is providing opportunities for everyone, whatever their background and wherever they come from. I look forward to meeting some of the apprentices that have been a part of making it happen."

A whole generation of engineers, designers, architects and geologists will benefit from the construction of the new high speed railway as the project gears up to support 30,000 jobs and create opportunities for British businesses to upskill their workforce. 

As the programme moves to construction, the number of roles supported by HS2 is forecast to reach 15,000.

Yesterday HS2 Ltd set out its programme of skills, employment and education interventions that will ensure the UK not only has the skills to deliver the HS2 project, but to become a worldwide leader in high speed rail.

Over 7,000 roles are already supported by the project. With construction starting next year, many more jobs around the country will help build a skills base to export around the world.


Media enquiries to:

Antonia Walton
Balfour Beatty

+44 (0)207 963 2150 | follow us @balfourbeatty


All non-media related enquiries should be directed to +44 (0)20 7216 6800 or

Notes to editors:

  • Balfour Beatty VINCI represents a powerhouse for critical infrastructure across Rail, transport and other iconic projects in the UK and beyond. Balfour Beatty VINCI's involvement in ground breaking Design Build Finance and Operation (DBFO) projects offers a unique end-to-end asset knowledge that is crucial in developing the best solutions to the infrastructure needs of the UK. Balfour Beatty and VINCI started working together over 30 years ago when both were members of the TransManche Link consortium which delivered the Channel Tunnel. Balfour Beatty VINCI has successfully bid and delivered a number of key projects including Crossrail and the M4, M5, M6 smart motorway programme. As leading infrastructure groups, both Balfour Beatty and VINCI Construction offer opportunities for trainees, apprentices, placement students and graduates as well as sponsored degree opportunities

Antonia Walton

Head of Corporate Communications