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Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce launched to address skills gap

19 April 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review

The Department for Transport (DfT) have announced the launch of a Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce designed to boost apprenticeships and address the skills gap.

Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce

On 15 April 2016, the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce (STAT) was launched to increase apprenticeships and ensure investment in transport delivers for young people.

The taskforce will bring industry employers together to address challenges in resolving the transport skills gap and take forward the government’s commitment to treble the number of apprenticeships in the transport sector by 2020.

Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce to focus on shaping quality training and promoting transport careers

STAT members and stakeholders gathered on the 15 April for the first time to share best practice and discuss priorities for the group. Discussions were likely to include collaborations in order 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young people and mid-career changers and returners to consider a rewarding career in transport, dispelling the outdated stereotype that work in the sector necessarily means men in hard hats and hi-vis, and highlighting the full range of cutting edge roles that will appeal to a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.

“STAT will help inspire and enable people from all walks of life to choose transport”

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 – 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.”

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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