Transport secretary Chris Grayling told contractors: “If you want to win contracts in transport, if you want to be part of the government’s investment programme, you must prepare to leave a skills footprint in this country.”
Earlier this year the Department for Transport published its transport infrastructure skills strategy.
Firms bidding for transport contracts must either hire and train one apprentice for every £3m-to-£5m of the contract’s value or, for every 200 people employed under the contract, create five apprenticeships for each year of the project. Every apprentice employed on a project, whether by contractor or sub-contractor, will count towards the target.
By 2020, an extra 15,000 construction professionals will be required for the DfT’s road building programme, plus 8,000 for Transport for London projects (including Northern Line extension) and 27,000 for HS2
“It’s not that our engineers need more skills. Rather, we need more skilled engineers,” Chris Grayling told a gathering of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association this week. “In total, we think to get all this work done, we’ll need an extra 56,000 skilled workers.”