Do we have the skills to deliver HS2?

hs2 skills
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by Rebekah Valero-Lee on


Our Ops Director, Adrian Adair, gives us an insight on HS2 skills and the rail sector at the moment.

It’s an exciting time to be working in rail with confidence in the sector at its highest. Crossrail, which is nearing its final stages and the soon to commence HS2 projects, are just two of the landmark schemes that are helping the sector to flourish.

Looking beyond the benefits for the economy and connectivity, these projects offer contractors the opportunity to work on some of the railway’s most innovative programmes. Yet the success of these technical projects depend on us having the right skills and resources from the current talent pool. As the rail sector evolves and gathers pace, we need to make sure that we’ve the right capabilities to grow with it.

An engineer’s role is constantly changing. New technology and software has developed niche skill sets that we wouldn’t have needed 10 years ago, like BIM for example. Now a Government requirement for public sector projects, BIM has progressed from a ‘nice to have’ to a delivery priority. Here at Morson, we’ve seen a growing need for people with specialist software skills in the converging engineering and technology space.

As Europe’s biggest infrastructure project, HS2 involves 15 years of construction, a £55.7billion investment, nine major new railway stations and more than 350 miles of new track, bridges and tunnels, as well as a new generation of high speed trains. To deliver the major design and construction task at hand, the supply chain will need around 24,000 people at its peak in the mid-2020s.

Current HS2 skills forecasts estimate that around half of these will need skills at, or above, Level 3 – the A Level equivalent. However, around 80 per cent of the UK’s construction workforce are only typically trained to a Level 2 standard.

The National College for High Speed Rail is working to bridge this gap by training around 1,000 school leavers, career changers and current contractors. It’s essential that we use HS2 to attract a younger generation into rail careers as well as upskilling existing engineers, but it’s also important that the focus spans the entirety of the UK, rather than just focussing on the major cities. We’re working closely with the College to maximise jobs and skills opportunities by upskilling future talent and leave a lasting skills legacy in the region.

Improving diversity has also been a core focus for the project, with HS2 a catalyst for change in order to improve equality, diversity and inclusion in the rail industry. Blind auditioning is one method that’s already proved successful in improving the number of women, BME and disabled candidates that make it through the application process, which involves analysing a candidates core competences before looking at their CV.

As the UK’s no.1 technical recruiter, we play a crucial role in sourcing the skills required by rail employers. Working in unison, our sister companies, Morson International, Morson Vital Training and Vital Human Resources, have a long-history of delivering white and blue collar talent to the rail sector and upskilling the next generation to leave a lasting skills legacy. We understand the evolving skill needs and have built an expert team of recruitment specialists that are able to identify contractors across different sectors with the right capabilities.

To find out more about the opportunities available or the additional skills needed to work on the HS2 project, take a look at our dedicated rail careers page or our dedicated HS2 page.



Cx Jobs

Maintenance Engineer

Morson Talent are currently recruiting for a Maintenance Engineer on an initial 12 months FTC basis (Likely to be perm for the right candidate) in the Manchester area. Location Manchester Salary £37,000 + 20% uplift for occasional shift work Hours Days based - Occasional cover shift work (6-2 / 2-10) The Person: * NVQ 3 or above in Engineering ESSENTIAL * Multiskilled - Mechanically / Electrically biased * Various backgrounds considered: Manufacturing, Automotive, Food, Distribution Centres, Automated Warehouse, Recycling, Biomass, Packaging or Printing, Chemical Plant, Brewery, Paper, Manufacturing Plant, Electromechanical / Automated Plant. * Health and safety focused, good awareness and a can do attitude. Desirable: * Bottling, material handling, AGV's, stackers, palletisers * Pneumatics, hydraulics The Job: * Assist with breakdowns maintenance and reliability of electromechanical machinery, equipment, and plant. * Maintenance of various sections of the plant - PPM and fault finding * Monitor production process & machinery performance. * Assist with PPM & breakdown. * Continuous improvement If you are interested in a new opportunity and would like to discuss further, please do not hesitate to contact me directly on 07739311930 or reply with an updated CV.

System Engineer

A Systems Engineer contractor is sought for a contract in Stevenage, Hertfordshire for a SATELLITE DIGITAL PROCESSOR SYSTEM ENGINEER position.Our client seek an expert in digital signal processor design and validation to join the design team responsible for the secure telecommand and telemetry system for a military communication satellite.The role requires an all-round grasp of the digital system, which includes both cryptographic and modem equipment, and its hardware implementation in order to support both system analyses and commissioning of prototype hardware. KEY SKILLS / PROVEN ABILITYProven Ability in any or all of the following topics will be valuable -Failure mode and related system analyses: FMEA / FMECA, single event effects and security analysis;Cryptographic processing and associated security functions;Modem functions (modulation and coding);Implementation of reliable digital signal processing hardware;FPGA-based prototyping and debugging;End-to-end RF communication systems testingSector knowledge: Space / Aerospace / Defence / Communications ADDITIONALTravel - Occasional travel to other UK sitesBase of Work - Following a familiarisation period on site this role will be working from home then working on site once COVID restrictions are lifted by the client - candidates must be able to work on site full time when required

Composite Technician - Aerospace Panels

Morson are currently looking for experienced composite technicians for our client for roles based in Stevenage.Job Profile Assembly and final assembly of sandwich aluminium composite panel production. Inclusive of: - Potting of inserts Bonding of various brackets and equipment Film adhesives Panel completion General hot and cold bonding processes Drilling, reaming etc. High tolerance requirements (typically better than 0.05mm in various areas). Experience Essential:- Ability to work from detailed drawings and electronic work instructions - within specific procedures Experience working to procedures with checkpoints/quality gates Previous experience such as mechanical fitter, close tolerance sheet metal worker, time served mechanical technician Experience in industries such as Space/Aerospace/Automotive/Motorsport etc. Ability to work in confined spaces above floor level Desirable:- Knowledge of satellite structure assemblies or similar Modern apprenticeship Clean room experience Shifts Weekly rotating double day shifts - 06:00hrs to 14:00 hrs 14:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs Some weekend working Saturday or Sunday may be required at peak times. Other There will be a skills test at interview The successful candidate will be required to pass BPSS security clearance before confirmation of contract offer. Free parking is provided for this role in a municipal car park located approximately fifteen minutes' walk from site.

Warehouse Operative

Warehouse operative Principal Responsibilities Health and safety: Must ensure that safe working practices as stipulated by the company are adhered to at all times. Undertake any relevant HSE training as required. Picking: Accurately collect parts from various locations within the warehouse without introducing errors. Packing: To consolidate picked goods in a secure manner for direct shipment to external/internal customers. 100% double check on picked items to achieve very high accuracy levels. Dispatch: Consolidate packages on the relevant pallet and prepare for collection, i.e. pallet wrapping / loading into carrier cages. Goods Inwards: Check deliveries for damage and check against the delivery note to ensure that we have received the correct quantities of the correct products. Using Rf scanners Communication: On a day-to-day basis communication between various departments is normal. Responsibility for dealing with day-to-day enquiries in a friendly yet professional manner applies to all logistics staff. Operation of a Powered industrial truck is desirable if operator holds licence and is authorised. Other key links & experience areas Customer Services Manufacturing/Goods In Carriers/Couriers ISC Office Please note that these roles are currently part time hours from 4pm - 8pm.

Skills and qualifications needed for a career in cyber security

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