Flannery Plant Hire has joined forces with HS2’s construction partner EKFB (a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall), to create a new training centre that can upskill local people ready for jobs on HS2.

The purpose-built Operator Skills Hub, which has opened its doors and is already training over 100 new recruits, includes a 16 seat classroom, three indoor plant simulators and a four-acre outdoor space for practical training and assessments. It has been built on HS2’s A422 Brackley Road compound in Westbury to enable trainees to see exactly how the skills they develop can be put straight into use supporting HS2’s construction.

Funding was secured from the Department for Education to deliver a broad range of training programmes, including a two-week ‘Skills Bootcamp’ in plant operations, which is free to local residents over the age of 19. The two-week programme provides all the training and accreditation needed to start work as a plant operator and is designed to support those most in need, or who are looking for a career change, to develop new skills and secure employment in record time.

Emmanuel Rossigno, Programme Director at EKFB said:

“The Skills Hub is a fantastic initiative and we’re pleased to see it doing so well. Being able to provide quality, hands on training and experience to local people and those wishing to enhance their skills is important to EKFB. We want to leave a skills legacy that will improve people’s lives, as well as bring more people into the project.

“We will need thousands of skilled plant operatives to help build the new railway and Flannery, EKFB and HS2 are providing an opportunity for people to be part of this once in a lifetime project, as well as equipping them with desirable transferable skills for the future.”