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HS2 wins award for bringing disabled into employment

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HS2 Ltd, the company delivering Britain’s new high-speed railway, has won an award for its commitment to ensuring equality and transparency in its recruitment practices.

The company’s resourcing team has been crowned winners of the Recruitment Team of the Year award by The Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative (RIDI), a not-for-profit organisation which strives to break down the barriers faced by millions of disabled people entering or progressing through the job market.

The team landed the award in recognition of its ‘above and beyond’ commitment to ensuring that disabled candidates are attracted and supported into employment.  In reaching their decision, the judging panel assessed HS2’s performance and gave praise for the team’s commitment to:

  • Becoming accredited inclusive recruiters;
  • Developing a brand-new inclusive apprentices recruitment and induction programme;
  • Introducing accredited e-learning targeted at reducing bias in the assessment processes;
  • Testing its careers site for accessibility and continued use of disability-oriented jobs boards.

HS2 head of resourcing Simon Fawkes-Underwood said: “HS2 presents an incredible opportunity to reset the rules around so many topics, including workforce.

“As a team we are really focused on the legacy we leave behind and making our processes accessible to everyone is one of them. We are delighted to be recognised for the inclusive culture we have worked hard to build at HS2”.

The award win tops a successful year for the project in its drive to ensure equality is at the heart of everything it does. Earlier this year, HS2 became the only company in the UK to have achieved a Gold standard rating in all four categories of the Clear Assured equality and diversity best practice benchmark. It continued to build on its commitments by signing up to Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter and appointing non-executive board member Judith Hackitt, as Board Diversity Champion, to scrutinise HS2’s equality, diversity and inclusion performance.

Mark Lomas, HS2 head of equality, diversity and inclusion, said: “Good practice in the EDI space is about ensuring every element of what we do reflects and respects the needs of the individual. This award demonstrates that we are working just as hard to support disabled people into employment as we are in retaining them.

“HS2 is quite literally a ground-breaking project and our approach to EDI and the standards we set ourselves, and our industry partners, matches that ambition.”