HS2 Engagement Adviser

What is HS2?

HS2 is the planned high speed railway connecting Birmingham with London and on to Manchester and Leeds. It will be the biggest project of its kind in the UK. The trains will move more people around the country, and faster. Each train will travel at speeds of up to 225mph, and carry up to 1,100 passengers.

Careers at HS2 will range from engineers, construction workers and railway technicians to designers, environmentalists and business staff. It’s estimated HS2 will create around 100,000 jobs, including the people needed to drive and operate the trains and local jobs sparked by the development around HS2.

What is an HS2 Engagement Adviser?

An HS2 Engagement Adviser works along the route of the railway as part of a team to talk with local communities and anyone who has a strong interest in the project. As an ambassador for HS2, they promote and develop the project’s reputation and work constructively with the groups they meet.

For example, Engagement Advisers set up and manage Community Engagement Events in communities close to the new rail route. These give people the opportunity to talk to us and ask us questions about the project, such as “how will my local area look during construction?” and “what job opportunities will HS2 create for young people in my area?” These events are very successful in raising awareness of the project and ensuring people are better informed about the impacts and benefits of HS2 to their local area.

What does an HS2 Engagement Adviser do?

An HS2 Engagement Adviser would do some of the following on a typical day:

  • Support engagement activities along the route – this could mean going to an event in a village, town or city to share what’s happening with the project and gather feedback from local communities.
  • Use information sharing and project management tools, such as GIS to better understand other communities that are not on the direct line of route but are still affected by the project – like businesses and wider school communities.

For more information about what Engagement Advisors do, have a look at Charlotte Bowen’s career story.

Is an HS2 Engagement Adviser career right for me?

Do you want to make a difference to the opportunities available to communities across the country? Do you want to make sure people have their say in the creation of the transport system of the future?

If the answer is yes, that’s a good start! But more than this, you need to be:

  • A confident communicator. Can you present to large audiences of strangers?
  • A good listener. Can you keep your cool while listening to lots of different opinions all at the same time? Not everyone will be impressed by the project and its impact on the local area, and you will need to take their concerns into account.
  • A great planner. Can you organise your own workload and work independently? This sort of work might suit you.

How to become an HS2 Engagement Adviser

To work as an HS2 Engagement Adviser, you’ll need to be able to communicate with people from different walks of life. You’ll be a good listener, and be prepared to work hard to get the best outcome for everyone. Experience of working on high-profile, possibly controversial projects will help.

In this line of work, your personality and experience may well be more important than the qualifications you have. Volunteer for work experience and internships in community or transport-related projects, and see if there are any opportunities available in local government.

Watch this YouTube clip about stakeholder engagement – it’s a useful introduction to this area of work.

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