The government has exceeded expectations in its apprenticeship starts, two years on from the publication of its Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy.
Devised by the Department for Transport (DfT), the strategy is aimed at tackling the skills shortage within the industry, ensuring construction projects can be completed on time in future generations.
The DfT want to build sustainable skills with its Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy, and when it was published in July 2016, the aim was to create 30,000 apprenticeships.
On the second anniversary of the Strategy, the progress of work undertaken by the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce (STAT) was revealed, along with the commitments for the coming year.
And, two years on, STAT says “we are able to demonstrate good progress against our ambitions.”
Since the start of the Transport Infrastructure Skills Strategy, the reach has been expanded to include maritime, road freight and express delivery, along with Heathrow which, one would think, will greatly benefit from apprentices for its third runway development.
These sectors are added to the original road and rail partners.
STAT has been able to report a 22% growth in apprenticeship starts in road and rail, with 2,784 added in 2017-18.
This means that, in the two years, there have been 5,066 apprenticeship starts recorded, 12% ahead of forecasts that were set out back in 2016, when 4,507 were expected.
This increase in the second year is all the more impressive considering the fall in total number of apprenticeships created across the whole economy since the new levy was introduced.
Mike Brown MVO, Commissioner at Transport for London and Chair of STAT, is pleased with the increase in transport apprenticeships for the year.
He said: “STAT’s success underlines the power of collaboration on skills.
“I am delighted to announce rising numbers of apprenticeships in transport this year, and the development of more high quality opportunities right across the sector.”