High-Speed Rail will open up career opportunities in engineering for young people across the Leeds City Region, Metro Chairman Cllr James Lewis said today.
Responding to a statement supporting HS2 by Andy Ridout, the managing director rail recruitment specialists advance-TRS, Cllr Lewis said that the Government's commitment to a high-speed network linking London to Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and Manchester would create a demand for skilled railway engineers.
"Young people who want to pursue jobs in engineering have the opportunity to study and train for the long-term careers that the planning development and construction of the HS2 network will open up," said Cllr Lewis.
"As Andy Ridout has said, there is an ageing workforce in the industry," he continued. "The development and training of a new generation of rail engineers to build the largest transport project in more than a generation will become increasingly urgent and it is the young people studying in our local schools and colleges today who will fill those roles.
"It is an example of how HS2 is already having a beneficial impact."
The Surrey-based Mr Ridout said that short-term contracts and stop-start investment cycles had seen training and recruitment suffer but that the Government's commitment to the high-speed network was changing industry recruitment.
"Training will ensure that younger workers are given the opportunity to provide an in depth, knowledgeable service, comparable with that of the facility provided by their more experienced counterparts,' he said. "With an ageing workforce this kind of employee investment is imperative."
Cllr Lewis said in addition to HS2, Metro had welcomed other major rail projects ranging from the construction of new stations at Greengates, Kirkstall and Low Moor as well as the electrification of the trans-Pennine rail route.
"These are all projects that reflect the on-going growth of demand on rail services and they represent great employment opportunities for young people choosing a career today," he said.