Government issues formal notice to Proceed with HS2

The government has given formal approval for construction work on the HS2 rail project to begin despite lockdown measures. The announcement will see an army of workers set about the task of building Britain’s new north-south railway line with over 11,000 staff, rising to 15,000 by the end of the year, and 30,000 by peak construction and train building.

The detailed design and construction will operate within Public Health England guidelines and those involved in phase one will need to follow social distancing rules as a result of COVID-19.

“In these difficult times, today’s announcement represents both an immediate boost to the construction industry – and the many millions of UK jobs that the industry supports – and an important investment in Britain’s future. 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

NSAR welcomes the news as it will see regional economies transformed right the way up to Scotland and signifies the essential need for high-quality rail services within the UK.

View video round-ups of our recent Apprenticeship Intermediary Masterclasses

Check out the videos from our recent Apprentice Intermediary Masterclasses which took place online covering the following regions: 

To gain access to other resources to help you and smaller employers navigate the apprenticeship service, register your details on to our microsite by visiting: 

NSAR EQA Employer Briefing for managing disruption to apprenticeships caused by COVID-19

View NSAR EQA’s  Employer Briefing for Managing Disruption to Apprenticeships caused by COVID-19.

The document is designed to support employers who are faced with the prospect of having to put their apprentices on Furlough.  It pulls from together information from a variety of sources and seeks to provide you with some clarity on the impact, what options are available. 

Our aim is to protect apprentices and provide you, as their employer, with the information that you need to choose the path that works for you.

To download the Employer Briefing click here.

Women in Rail: Clap for Our Carers: 26 March 2020, 8pm

Supported by Women in Rail, Clap for Your Carer encourages everyone to stand on the doorstep of their home, garden, window or balcony on Thursday 26 March at 8pm and give a huge round of applause to thank all the carers, Doctors, Nurses, GPs and other NHS workers who are working tirelessly to face the horrendous challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign is a national initiative and participants are encouraged to stream their applause on social media channels, using the following hastag: #clapforourcarers.

Of course, when taking part, please make sure you and your loved ones observe the social distancing measures by staying at least 2m away from any other person. Please do join us on Thursday at 8pm to say a big thank you to all our heroic NHS workers and carers for their ongoing hard work. During these unprecedented times, they need to know we are grateful.

Suppliers, help keep Britain moving – A message from Network Rail

Please observe a message from
Clive BerringtonCommercial & Procurement Director | Route Services | Network Rail

Dear Colleagues,

We are putting plans in place to minimise disruption to rail services and support the movement of key workers and goods around our country at this difficult time.

A crucial element of our business continuity planning is ensuring we can call on enough skilled and experienced frontline workers to maintain rail infrastructure. The measures put in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 mean there will be times in the coming months when this will be extremely challenging.

We require your support in meeting this challenge head-on by making us aware of any members of your teams who could fill our business-critical roles. Specifically, we are looking for:

– Ex-Signallers
– Ex-Crossing Keepers
– Ex-Roster Clerks
– Ex-Mobile Operations Managers
– Ex-Electrical Control Operators

If you are aware of any members of staff who are willing to help us, please could you contact us via your local Network Rail teams or the following email address to provide their names, experience by role, competencies and location to .

Another successful Apprenticeship Intermediary Masterclass in Oxford

This week we hosted another Apprenticeship Intermediary Masterclass in Oxford. Again the workshop focused on the changes to the government apprenticeship service and how to utilise the Apprenticeship Intermediary Service including:

  • How apprenticeships have changed for smaller employers
  • Understanding the apprenticeship service
  • Introducing the “Making apprenticeship work for smaller employers – toolkit”
  • Intermediary support

Representatives from the Activate Learning, Oxford City Council, Ace Training, CITB, and Ignite Sport UK were all in attendance. With thanks to Paddy Patterson Partnership Lead for delivering the workshop.

To find out more about our Masterclasses or to find a Masterclass near you visit the www.