A report shows that strong progress is being made by an industry-led taskforce in boosting the proportion of under-represented groups in transport apprenticeships.
The Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce’s (STAT) 3 year progress report marks the latest in a series of annual reports setting out progress against ambitions from the government’s 2016 Transport infrastructure skills strategy, as well as information on the diversity of those undertaking apprenticeships.
And statistics in today’s report show that BAME representation now stands at over a fifth of apprentice intake, representing a 56% proportional increase over the last 2 years in the share of BAME apprentices in the sector.
The figure provides a positive result for STAT, who have exceeded their commitment to improve BAME representation in apprenticeships.
And the picture for women’s representation also shows positive improvement, with women now making up 15.4% of technical and engineering apprenticeship starts, up from 10% 2 years ago, representing a 54% proportional increase. The figures again show real progress towards the STAT’s target of 20%. Female representation in all apprentice roles has increased to 23.6%, up from 20% 2 years ago.
Minister Nusrat Ghani said: "Drawing from the widest pool of talent is vital for any industry, particularly where there are skills shortages. 41,000 people are needed in roads by 2025, and rail needs 50,000 extra people by 2033 to deliver planned investment.
"That’s why it’s fantastic to see how apprenticeships can be used to attract and train a more diverse workforce. STAT’s work is vital in getting under-represented groups into transport apprenticeships and meeting skills needs. They are providing great opportunities for all, regardless of background."
Mike Brown MVO, Chair of the Strategic Apprenticeship Taskforce and London’s Transport Commissioner, said: "It’s fantastic to see the increase in diversity in those joining the transport industry as apprentices. In order to keep the sector at the forefront of innovation, it is vital that we continue to attract and inspire a variety of people into transport careers, reflecting the customers that we serve, and stimulating creativity of thought and approach.
"By working together across the industry, we have managed to start challenging the perception that a career in transport is for a certain type of person. We need to ensure that we maintain and drive this momentum forward, so that, more and more, people realise the wide range of roles on offer and do not feel they face barriers to achieving their career aspirations."
The report sets out growth in higher level apprenticeships in the sector. Crucially, female representation at this level is higher than the average for the sector, which will help to reduce the gender pay gap.
STAT has committed to driving forward existing programmes around diversity and social mobility in the sector. Key commitments for 2019 to 2020 include:
- piloting a pre-employment training programme, to support those facing significant barriers into training and work into the sector
- developing a shared apprenticeships programme in Data Analytics and Data Scientist, which will plug an important future skills need