The HS2 project is the largest infrastructure project in Europe and undoubtedly one of the most important considering the wider economic benefits it will bring to the UK economy.
I recently attended a seminar focused on construction, engineering and manufacturing opportunities for businesses in the Sheffield City region and how these will impact local economic development.
Well done the Sheffield City region LEP for organising the event and key contributors. There were also representatives from the HS2 project including Scott-James Ely who is leading on skills, employment and education opportunities.
The conversation echoed results from our recent HS2 Yorkshire Business Survey which focused on the same key themes. Procurement and the supply chain have been correctly identified as key, now it’s time to get the logistics in place.
Although there is still public criticism around the delivery and timescales of the project, the seminar reinforced the planning necessary for HS2 and how well it is being undertaken. These meticulously planned elements will bring significant advantages.
I was struck by the indication from Scott-James that this project will deliver tens of thousands of jobs in construction and manufacturing.
We must also have the ambition and appetite to engage as a City Region around the important skills, employment and educational opportunities HS2 will present. Programmes like Work-wise are focused on providing the tools to educate and prepare young people across the Sheffield City Region to be fit and ready for the world of work. Wouldn’t it be a tremendous fillip for our region if Doncaster was selected as the location for the High Speed Rail College that HS2 is going to build?
Also involved in the seminar was CompeteFor, an online portal offering contract opportunities relating to HS2.
CompeteFor will help promote local and SME suppliers through sustainable and responsible procurement practices.
Businesses interested in understanding more on the opportunities presented by HS2 should register their business profile at www.competefor.com.