19th July 2022

Align JV wins at HS2 Inspiration Awards

Our Align JV won the ‘STEM Contribution Award’ for their Special Education Needs programme to promote inclusion and diversity in the sector.

Congratulations to our Align Joint Venture for winning the ‘STEM Contribution Award’ at this year’s HS2 Inspiration Awards.

The ceremony, hosted by former HS2 Minister Andrew Stephenson in Parliament, recognised the achievements of individuals and businesses who are going the extra mile to ensure HS2 raises the bar for equality, diversity and inclusion.

Our Align JV team worked in collaboration with the Meadow School in Hillingdon to challenge the stereotype that the construction and engineering sectors cannot be inclusive of people with disabilities. Together, they developed a tailored SEN (Special Education Needs) work experience programme for the students.

The carefully devised six-week placement schedule allowed Year 12 and Year 13 students to experience a range of roles in the construction industry, focusing on one-to-one support and working hours suited to their needs. Now on their third cohort, the 23 male and female students who have so far taken part in the programme have shared enthusiastic feedback about their experience and the prospect of working for HS2 in the future.

The SEN programme had an equally positive impact on the workforce, creating an increased sense of belonging, collaboration and respect amongst teams and colleagues. The Align JV team also coordinated a “Disability Awareness Workshop” delivered by Meadow School to provide a deeper understanding of the various types of disabilities and how to better engage SEN students.

The judges praised the team behind the project for pushing boundaries and striving to encourage more people with a disability into the sector.

This initiative has been successful for the students, the school and for the Align JV, really bringing our inclusive values to life.

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