The increase by 50% to a total of £61 billion for capital funding of transport projects AND the £15 billion Road Investment Strategy are great news for our industry but many are voicing their concerns about the people resources required to implement this.
At this year’s Highways SIB event we’ll be running a dedicated Apprenticeship/skills zone for local students to come along and find out all the exciting opportunities that the sector has to offer. There will also be scope for experienced highways professionals to discuss their own career progression and enhancement.
The Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) will highlight its National Highway Engineering Academy (NHEA) – a virtual academy that will focus on providing engineers and technicians with the skill set and expertise that is vitally needed by the highways industry.
IHE chief executive Richard Hayes said: “The IHE is alarmed by the skills shortage within the highways sector and we’re taking action to address it. The aim of IHE’s new National Highway Engineering Academy is to train a dedicated workforce with the specialist skills and expertise the industry needs to build the UK’s road network. That’s why we’re happy to support Highways SIB and discuss the opportunities that are available in the sector.”
Highways Magazine editor Alec Peachey said: “With record investment in the highways sector getting the right training and people in place will be key to ensuring that the upturn in work is carried out in a safe and timely fashion. Our intention is to invite university students to attend the event with a view to them finding out about the opportunities available in the industry. They’ll also be able to see the latest developments and products which can help improve the safety of the highway network. Overall, Highways SIB offers a great opportunity to showcase the type of opportunities that are available in the sector.”
The IHE will also be offering career surgeries for individuals to support their personal development. Further information on this will be released in due course.
The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) will also be part of the new Apprenticeship/skills zone. The CIHT is a learned society concerned specifically with the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of land-based transport systems and infrastructure.
With over 13,000 members, CIHT offers routes to qualifications such as Chartered and Incorporated Engineer status and also Transport Planning Professional.
The CIHT will be inviting academic staff and students from the Universities of Derby, Coventry, Birmingham, Loughborough, Nottingham and Wolverhampton to attend the event.
Director of education and membership Sue Stevens said: “It’s essential for current and aspiring highways and transportation practitioners to keep up to speed with the new products and services that are constantly coming on to the market. Highways SIB offers the opportunity to view these products at close quarters and ask detailed questions about their specifications and capability. It also enables budget holders to make informed operational decisions on future spend. It’s a great CPD event for CIHT members.”
The CIHT will also use the event as an opportunity to highlight its apprentice membership grade.
The other Highways SIB 2016 ‘zones’:Maintenance matters Making our mark Safety in action Signage solutions A smarter network Lighting the way