Skills and apprenticeships minister Nusrat Ghani said last week that the UK’s transport sector is leading the way in creating excellent careers and responding to the need for the engineers of the future.
And it’s really no surprise – with ongoing pressure to dramatically reduce environmental impact, whilst inventing solutions to the pressure of the growing population on our infrastructure, plus diligently solving the fuel needs for the next century, the transport sector is fast becoming the aspirational career choice for the thought-leading bright sparks of the next generation.
Nusrat Ghani was speaking in response to the recent ‘Transport infrastructure skills strategy: two years on’ report, which revealed that over 5,000 apprentices have started training in road and rail industries alone since 2016.
As the Gov.uk website reports, nearly 2,800 roads and rail apprenticeships began in 2017 to 2018 alone, a 22% increase on 2016 to 2017. These figures are testament to how government and private investment is helping unlock new roles, upskill the workforce and support social mobility.
The report also unveiled that:
1. An extra 8,000 opportunities will be created each year in the express delivery market
2. Training places for maritime cadets will grow to 1,200 over the next 7 years
3. 10,000 apprentices will be needed by the Heathrow expansion before 2030
Nusrat Ghani explained how government investment in transport is playing a pivotal part in creating “life-changing opportunities” through its apprenticeships. The programmes are helping to ensure the UK has the skilled workforce it will need in the future.
Yet, the minister also stressed the government’s commitment to increasing diversity, in particular inspiring more women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people to consider jobs in the sector.
“Although we are seeing evidence of better BAME representation in the sector, our ambitions are clear. From road to rail, maritime to aviation, we must all redouble our efforts to bring more women into technical and engineering roles, remove barriers, ensuring we bring talented people from all backgrounds together to tackle the skills gap.
“We are committed to strengthening links between employers in our sector and young people, particularly in the creative, innovative world of engineering through our Year of Engineering campaign. I look forward to even more apprentices starting brilliant careers in years to come.”
Mike Brown MVO, commissioner of Transport for London, added: “The power of collaboration on skills from transport employers who are committed to creating more high-quality skills and training opportunities for people of all ages has already provided great results across the sector.
“The increase in transport apprenticeships is vital to addressing current skills shortages, helping to fill gaps in future skills, improving productivity and driving growth in Britain for the future.”