*UPDATE* 15/04/2020

green light given for HS2 rail work April 2020.

The UK transport government authority has approved HS2 construction, issuing a Notice to Proceed (NtP) to the main civils contractors. This is a major boost to the construction sector,  providing the opportunity to secure and create thousands of jobs, particularly for small & medium sizes businesses across the UK. 

While the country’s focus is rightly on defeating COVID-19, this ensures that our contractors and their supply chains have the confidence that they can commit to building HS2, generating thousands of skilled jobs across the country as we recover from the pandemic."

- Mark Thurston CEO of HS2 Ltd.

what is High-Speed Rail (HS2)?

HS2 is the new High-Speed Rail link planned for 2026 to connect London and Birmingham and expected from 2033 to start to include Leeds and Manchester to create a more connected Britain on a faster network.

what does HS2 green light mean?

Boris Johnson has given the go-ahead for the High-Speed Rail service to connect Britain with a rail system that combines the existing high-speed rail services from London to the south-east of England all the way to Birmingham cutting travel times to 49 minutes. 

The connecting trains will allow a trip from London to Scotland in three hours 30 minutes or the Lake District in under two hours. 

£106billion investment.

With such a large investment, investing in Brexit Britain continues a focus on growing the internal economy. By hiring from the UK and employing over 30,000 workers to complete the project across rail, construction, civil-engineering roles and more; Britain looks to spend wisely on 'levelling up' the economy. 

This project presents opportunities for connecting the north and south with UK residents in Birmingham, realistically able to work in London the same as south-east workers currently do with under an hour daily commutes. HS2 is ready to create a more connected Britain one new job at a time.

how fast will HS2 trains go? 

The new lines from London to Birmingham will replicate the current London routes in the south-east with capabilities to travel up to 220mph. This speed will be managed between 300-360km/h, for safety and sustainability reasons near residential routes and in set locations to avoid public disruption. Concerns over the damage to local residents near the new lines have been thoroughly investigated with a huge investment placed in re-designing derelict areas around the routes to produce new parks, social areas and green areas to reduce noise and visual effects on the environment. 

how much time will my journey take with HS2?

  • London to Birmingham - reduced from 80 minutes to 45 minutes
  • London to Manchester - reduced from 128 minutes to 68 minutes 
  • London to Lake District - five-hour car journey and three-hour train ride to under two hours.
  • London to Scotland - reduced from five hours to three and a half (using slow train after HS2). 

HS2 and the environment.

New changes to the route of the High-Speed rail line is set to be built with 22.5 miles underground to avoid disruption to local communities and the environment. This 50% increase on the original plan helps to keep speeds high but impact on the residents low. 

The Northolt corridor in Ruislip will use a 2.75-mile tunnel to minimise the effects for commuters on the Chilterns line. With 55,000 responses to the public consultation in the Y-shaped route north of Birmingham, Justine Greening the transport secretary, has consulted on these changes to improve on both sides, the routes of HS2 in Britain.

These adaptations to the route ensure the continuing trains planned beyond 2033 will maintain speeds averaging 200mph into the Midlands. 

HS2 revealed that the new project will offer some of the lowest carbon emissions per passenger kilometre - seven times less than cars and 17 times less than domestic flights. Every extra freight train freed up by HS2 takes up to 76 lorries off roads.


"HS2 is a vote of confidence in the railways and recognition of the vital role the industry has to play in supporting jobs and driving sustainable economic growth. HS2 would help to alleviate the capacity crunch on many of our major rail corridors and offer the prospect of shorter journey times between London and other major English cities."

- Michael Roberts, chief executive, Association of Train Operating Companies.

investing in the UK economy.

£1 spend on HS2 puts £2.50 back into the UK economy. 

Our HS2 dedicated page explains how HS2 is supporting the unemployed back into work and reinvesting in Britain's economy. With a £106 billion investment, this is essential and great news to hear for the recruitment market. 

See how Randstad can hire an entire workforce for your business with our great benefits.


what HS2 means for jobs in rail.

The Prime Minister’s decision to back HS2 sends the right signal around the world that the UK is open for business. HS2 shows the government’s commitment to levelling up the nations and regions of the UK. The project will bring jobs, new homes, skills and investment to the areas of the country that need them most. Once built, HS2 will bring much-needed capacity to our railways and help to realise the government’s promise of an ‘infrastructure revolution’ for the North, Midlands and beyond.

Matthew Fell, chief UK policy director of the business bosses' body the CBI
200mph+ HS2 trains get green light for rail jobs
200mph+ HS2 trains get green light for rail jobs

construction and HS2.

At Randstad we are committed to seeing the future of a more connected Britain, improving workforce distribution and opportunities by thinking human forward first. As HS2 construction begins in 2019 we sit at the forefront of fulfilling jobs going into the new year of 2020 jobs. 

With the huge growth in the construction industry and construction, property, engineering and rail as a whole, now is the time to be a part of a 20-year development plan of HS2.

Find your local Randstad branch to find jobs in HS2 or browse our HS2 dedicated site.


Talk to one of our UK branches to find workers for the HS2 project.