That is nearly five times more than the number of apprentices on Crossrail or the 2012 Olympic build.
The enticing figure was used ot highlight the expected benefits of the mega project at a coming together of top level supporters of the project yesterday.
The HS2 jobs and skills summit at Manchester Metropolitan University saw HS2 Ltd chief executive Alison Munro unveil the company’s plans for creating engineering jobs for students through initiatives in schools, further and higher education and a programme of apprenticeships and internships.
Even at this early planning stage, HS2 Ltd’s contractors have enabled more than 700 graduate trainees and apprentices to work on the project, she said.
The event was part of a campaign against a groundswell of opposition to the scheme from those who believe that £43bn could be better spent on other things.
Standing up for the wider economic benefits offered by HS2, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “From 2017, HS2 will create 19,000 engineering and construction jobs.”
Commercial secretary Lord Deighton said: “We saw with the Olympics, big projects can bring big rewards – boosting business, inspiring innovation and creating jobs. High Speed 2 is of vital importance to this country’s growth and it is crucial we act now to provide the infrastructure the UK needs to compete in the global race.
“As chair of the HS2 Growth Taskforce I will be working with a team of experts to unlock the huge economic potential of the project and absolutely maximising the benefits to everyone along the route.”
Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese said: “We’ve said all along that HS2 is not just a transport project, it’s an economic growth project. The extra capacity HS2 brings is far more important than the speed and this capacity will be a real engine of growth for the country, bringing our major cities closer to each other, and to mainland Europe. It will create jobs, boost productivity and help the nation compete globally.
“Although it will take time to complete, some of the benefits will be seen almost immediately. Once the routing and station locations are confirmed, they will trigger investment and development which will support much-needed urban regeneration and job creation, particularly around the Core Cities. We therefore welcome the launch of this consultation and are determined not to miss this momentous opportunity.”
Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore said: “HS2 is a once in a generation opportunity to ensure that the UK remains competitive for the long term. Getting the best returns on HS2 means using that investment as a lever to unlock improvements in city region transport networks around the Core Cities, so that we are ‘HS2 ready’ as soon as possible. These are the vital transport hubs that will allow passengers to travel to and from HS2, so better city region transport means better use of HS2.
“This isn’t just about more money, it’s about integrating transport spending and policy within a city region so that it always works in a coherent and joined up fashion. This will in turn create further jobs and growth.”