The government has announced that more than 30,000 apprenticeships will be created across the road and rail industry during the lifetime of this Parliament.
More than £70 billion has been committed to improving transport infrastructure, including what the government describes as “the most extensive improvements to roads since the 1970s”.
To help deliver this ambition Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, has appointed Terry Morgan CBE, chairman of Crossrail, to develop a transport and infrastructure skills strategy.
Patrick McLoughlin said: “Training our rail and road workforce is essential if we want to build a transport network fit for the future. That is why I have invited Terry Morgan to join us in this vital work.
“As the chairman of Crossrail, and the forthcoming National College for High Speed Rail, Terry has a track record of building skills in the transport sector. He is ideally positioned to work with industry to deliver a transport and infrastructure skills strategy.”
The skills strategy will set out how government and industry will deliver on its ambition for 30,000 apprenticeships in roads and rail over the five years to 2020; how it will develop a national network of transport infrastructure skills colleges to train the transport workers of the future; and how it will develop the Roads Academy programme to “train the leaders of the future”.
Welcoming the announcement, Jim O’Sullivan, Highways England chief executive, said: “In order to triple the amount of investment going into England’s motorways and major A roads on an annual basis, from some £1.5 to over £4bn, we’re going to need more industry specific skills available to us.
“The certainty of capital funding over five years that comes with becoming a government-owned company gives us and our supply chain the confidence to invest in people — attracting, retaining and developing capable people to deliver our expanding programme of work.
“An important part of this is the creation of apprenticeship opportunities across all disciplines so that we are building and maintaining a pipeline of talent into the sector.”