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Transport for London apprenticeships

Challenge

Use training to help unemployed people address a skills shortage in transport.

Problem

London's Economic Development Strategy pledges a responsible procurement policy and “to give all Londoners the opportunity to take part in London’s economic success, access sustainable employment and progress in their careers”. This is due to some areas of London having 30% of residents out of work. By contrast the transport sector is facing increasing skills shortages with an aging workforce.

Solution

Transport for London (TfL) is using its Strategic Labour Needs and Training (SLNT) initiative to address these twin problems. Suppliers have contracts based on offering jobs and training opportunities to local communities, the long-term unemployed and under-represented groups. SLNT in return helps suppliers find skills and training programmes.

The SLNT approach has been applied to 30 high-profile projects and contracts, most notably the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme. The model has been adopted by other large organisations delivering major projects, including Crossrail. As well as working with traditional construction trades, there are apprenticeships in facilities management and with three key bus operators. Nearly 900 bus drivers have completed the apprentice programme. As consequence of the scheme, transport operators have reported reduced staff turnover, better customer service, lower collision rates and improved fuel efficiency.

TfL is on track to exceed a target of 2,550 apprenticeships.

Benefits

Social regeneration
Meeting solid business need

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