The coalition Government’s announcement that £1bn will be invested into Britain’s railways including the extension of the Northern Line in London has been welcomed by People 1st, the sector skills council for hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism.
“This investment recognises the vital contribution that the rail industry makes to the UK’s economy and standing,” said Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st.
“Thousands of much needed jobs and apprenticeships will be created as the sector continues to grow and provide significant employment opportunities for new entrants.
“People 1st will support these through various initiatives including the recently updated rail engineering apprenticeships.”
He added that the Government’s investment continues the steady greening of the railway corridor following the decision to electrify the Manchester to Leeds Trans Pennine route as well as the Liverpool to Manchester railway.
“People 1st supports the electrification of the railway’s workforce through its new apprenticeship schemes.”
People 1st is also supporting the industry through extending its successful pre-employment training programme, Employment 1st.
This has helped thousands of unemployed people back into work as well as into education. In anticipation of new vacancies in the sector, the programme should provide the rail industry with easy access to a pool of work-ready entrants.
Working in partnership with local enterprise partnerships, local authorities and other stakeholders, People 1st will also increase opportunities for the long-term unemployed through the creation of an Employment Academy that will train 10,000 unemployed people each year.
People 1st also plans to increase the number of women entering the passenger transport sector from 20 per cent to 30 per cent by 2015 and develop clear and transparent career development pathways in passenger transport as well as programmes for other sources of labour such as old workers.
Nearly 700,000 people work within the UK’s passenger transport sector of which 140,000 are in the rail industry.
Between 1997 and 2007, an additional 63,000 vacancies were created with 30,000 new posts anticipated by 2017.