National College for High Speed Rail (NCHSR)

Constructing Excellence

Filling the HS2 skills gap
As the largest High Speed Rail infrastructure project in Europe, the £56bn HS2 project will employ 27,000 people throughout the supply chain by 2020, making it the biggest single source of new jobs in the British infrastructure sector.

However, the Department for Transport forecasts a skills shortage of 55,000 by 2020. With HS2 introducing new technologies to the already stretched engineering pool, the success of the project depends on the availability of well-trained people; NCHSR will help to address this.

Doncaster’s railway heritage
Capitalising on the town’s successful 165-year relationship with the railway, the UK Government chose Doncaster to host the college. With a design reflecting the railway sheds which have adorned the town for many years, this facility will play a key role in training and generating thousands of engineers to meet the future needs of HS2 by providing a real workplace environment to prepare students for work in high-speed rail infrastructure.

Jointly-procured sister colleges
This project was procured alongside its sister college in Birmingham, which was also delivered by Willmott Dixon. To create a shared identity for the colleges’ end users while delivering project time and cost efficiencies, we shared lessons learned and design/construction features across both sites.

 Supporting curriculum development
As the first college of its kind in the UK, the curriculum was still in early development stages when we joined the project. Utilising our knowledge and experience in education projects, we supported the customer to ensure that the design maximised learning outcomes, with both an internal and external track. We also situated the workshop at the heart of the project, with viewing galleries and classrooms surrounding it.