The 500th new apprentice has joined the HS2 project, the latest figures from HS2 Ltd have shown.
Birmingham resident, Darren Chikono has become the milestone apprentice to help complete the new railway line for Britain.
When Darren was seven years old, Darren moved from Croydon to Birmingham, now 21, he will work on the HS2 project as an apprentice civil engineer.
Darren said: “HS2 is such an inspirational project, and my role brings together the two things I really love – the opportunity to bring communities together and solve complex engineering problems.”
After completing his Level 4 Technician qualification in High-Speed Rail Infrastructure at the National College of Advanced Transport and Infrastructure (NCATI) in Birmingham, Darren is now working and studying towards a Level 6 Civil Engineering Degree Apprenticeship with HS2 construction partner Balfour Beatty VINCI.
Darren said: “I feel so lucky to be part of this amazing project and to be playing such a hands-on role in bringing HS2 to the West Midlands.”
HS2 Ltd’s Skills Manager for the West Midlands, Julie Venn-Morton said: “Darren’s story is a shining example of how local people are benefitting from employment on this once in a lifetime project. “
“To see him fulfil his dream of becoming an engineer and to be working so close to home on the new depot facility, which will create more jobs for local people, is just brilliant.”
Michael Dyke, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty VINCI, said: “As we gear up to deliver one of the most ambitious schemes in the UK’s history, it is more important than ever that we take an active approach to encouraging young people to join the construction and infrastructure industry.”
“Across the West Midlands, Balfour Beatty VINCI has already employed over 50 apprentices, and we will be continuing with this positive momentum. It is essential that we inspire young people like Darren, to play a key part in the delivery of Britain’s brand-new high-speed railway.”
HS2 Ltd is recruiting 30 new apprentices to join the project in September 2021, to find out more, please visit the HS2 Ltd website.
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