University spinout supports HS2 employment forecasting

Published on 30 August 2021

A University of Dundee spinout company is helping to support the skills strategy for Britain’s new low carbon high speed railway.

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Whole Life Consultants Limited (WLC Ltd) has led on the delivery of a report to forecast the labour and skills requirements for the HS2 high-speed rail project. The document also assesses the occupations where skills gaps will be more prevalent as the project progresses.

WLC Ltd led a consortium of skills forecasting experts, including the National Skills Academy for Rail.

Using expertise developed in Dundee to forecast labour and skills demand, the team were able to use advanced data analytics to understand the labour and skills requirements at previously unachievable levels of detail.

Through this intelligence, HS2 and its supply chain can better plan, manage workforce risks and achieve the legacy of a highly skilled and diverse workforce for the UK. This work updates and enhances previous work carried out by the same team three years ago.

Professor Malcolm Horner, Chairman of WLC Ltd, said, “The advanced labour forecasting algorithms that we have applied here allow an unprecedented level of detail around labour demand in infrastructure projects. This intelligence will allow HS2 to make more informed decisions around skills interventions to ensure that a suitable workforce is available to deliver this exciting programme."

HS2 is a new high-speed railway linking London, the Midlands, the North and Scotland serving over 25 stations, including eight of Britain’s 10 largest cities and connecting around 30 million people.

The analysis estimates that there will be a peak workforce on HS2 in 2027/28 of more than 34,000 people.

Notes to editors

The report is available to download at

Whole Life Consultants Ltd is a spin out company from the University of Dundee, formed in 2004 to commercialise the research from the Construction Management Research Unit (


Jonathan Watson

Senior Press Officer

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