The Department for Transport has released a report this morning which has pledged thousands of new apprenticeships thanks to the government’s significant road and rail investment.
It is over one year since the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce was set up, which is focusing on delivering the government’s transport investment skills strategy and since then, 2,000 apprenticeships have been created in road and rail.
The creation of apprenticeships is crucial for a number of reasons. We have seen how construction in particular has suffered from a skills shortage since the recession. This will help to alleviate this in the long term and is one of a number of measures that the government has outlined to bridge the gap.
For businesses, this is positive news too because it will give them the staff to deliver challenging projects.
This partnership is also key given that it contains members such as Network Rail, Highways England, Heathrow and HS2 Ltd.
All of these represent hugely significant, large scale projects that need people in the long term to deliver their respective visions. Heathrow, for example, is expected to cater for 10,000 extra apprenticeship opportunities throughout the country.
It is estimated that, by 2022, 35,000 apprenticeship starts will be created in roads and rail.
The specialisms will be wide and varied though, given that there is a demand for a focus on cyber security and new technology in civil engineering and digital technology.
John Haynes, Transport Minister, says the report from the partnership is good news.
“Making our transport infrastructure the best in the world will build business and change lives for the better. Just as putting apprenticeships at the heart of this investment will seed opportunities for thousands of people.
“This government is taking the big transport decisions for Britain’s future like HS2 and Heathrow, delivering the biggest investment in roads and rail for a generation and equipping individuals and businesses with the skills they need to make all this happen.
“Better journeys creating jobs, driving investment, nurturing the common good and serving the national interest.”