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Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce to boost apprenticeships

Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce to boost apprenticeships and ensure investment in transport delivers for young people.

Transport skills photomontage.
  • Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce (STAT) launched to bring together employers to address the skills gap in the transport sector
  • STAT will support the government’s ambition to create new 30,000 apprenticeships in transport by 2020, and to increase the diversity of the workforce
  • work is likely to focus on shaping quality training for new entrants and the existing workforce, as well as promoting careers in transport to young people, mid-career changers and returners

The STAT has been launched today (15 April 2016), as an employer-led group to help the transport sector address skills challenges and take forward the government’s commitment to treble the number of apprenticeships in the transport sector by 2020.

STAT members will today meet for the first time with stakeholders to share best practice and discuss priorities for the group. Work could include collaborating to support the development and uptake of quality transport apprenticeships in client organisations and through the supply chain.

The task force will also be actively encouraging young people and mid-career changers and returners to consider a rewarding career in transport, dispelling the outdated stereotype that work in the sector necessarily means men in hard hats and hi-vis, and highlighting the full range of cutting edge roles that will appeal to a diversity of people. Its work will support the Institute for Apprenticeships, to ensure consistency with other sectors.

Transport Minister Lord Ahmad said:

I have seen for myself the enthusiasm in young people for planes, trains and automobiles, and I am determined that the government’s record investment in transport helps transform childhood fascinations into lifelong careers.

Transport these days is about computers in laboratories as much as cranes in landfill sites. That is why STAT will help inspire and enable people from all walks of life to choose transport, and ensure we have the diverse and skilled workforce we need to deliver our ambitious agenda.

HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Simon Kirby – himself a former apprentice with British Rail (BR) – has been announced as Chair of STAT. He said:

Being an apprentice was a great opportunity for me to pursue a vocational education and gain experience in the workplace, whilst learning at the same time. I used my apprenticeship as a springboard for my career. It also equipped me with invaluable people skills that I’ve used in all aspects of my job.

I am therefore delighted to be appointed as the chair of STAT, which will support the government’s ambition to treble the number of apprenticeships in the transport sector by 2020. Employers should see taking on an apprentice as an opportunity to develop skills within their business and this in turn can help young people to develop long and successful careers within their chosen sector.

It is vital that we also inspire people from all different backgrounds to become an apprentice so that we can create a diverse workforce capable of delivering the unprecedented number of transport projects currently in the pipeline.

The department committed to the task force in its Transport infrastructure skills strategy, published in January 2016, which set out how we plan to create 30,000 apprenticeships in the transport sector by 2020. The strategy also set an ambition for 20% of new entrants to engineering and technical apprenticeships in the transport sector to be women by 2020, and a 20% increase in the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) candidates undertaking apprenticeships by the same period.

STAT will play an important role delivering this strategy, helping to ensure that the government’s record investment in transport infrastructure translates into jobs, skills and apprenticeships for young people. It will also mean we get the next generation of transport engineers we need to build, maintain and operate large and complex transport systems such as HS2.

The STAT Board membership includes:

  • David Poole, Commercial and Procurement Director, Highways England
  • Rob McIntosh, Route Managing Director, Network Rail
  • Beth West, Commercial Director, HS2 Ltd
  • Valerie Todd, Talent and Resources Director, Crossrail
  • George McInulty, Programme Director for Infrastructure, TfL
  • Paul Plummer, Chief Executive, Rail Delivery Group
  • Kevin Rowan, Head of Organisation and Services, TUC
  • Catherine De Marco, Deputy Director for Infrastructure Skills, DfT

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Published 15 April 2016