6 June 2012

Transport sector training and employment initiative helps locals in London

Skills shortages in transport are forecast to rise to 35 percent by 2013/14 in London, United Kingdom, while in some areas of the capital city 30 percent of residents are out of work. A new jobs and training initiative from Transport for London (TfL), titled Strategic Labour Needs and Training (SLNT), aims to tackle both of these problems simultaneously. The initiative puts suppliers under contract to offer jobs and training opportunities to local communities, the long-term unemployed and under-represented groups.

The scheme is driven by the mayor of London's Economic Development Strategy which pledges a responsible procurement policy. The scheme helps suppliers find skills and training programmes. A Supplier Skills Team works with the National Apprenticeship Service and the Department for Work and Pensions Work Programme to help suppliers develop specific programmes. The SLNT approach has already been applied to 30 high-profile projects in the city.

TfL has so far created 2,200 apprenticeships and is on track to exceed a target of 2,550. As consequence of the scheme, transport operators have reported reduced staff turnover, better customer service, lower collision rates and improved fuel efficiency. The model has been adopted by other large organisations delivering major projects. TfL, through the Greater London Authority, is a participant in the Procura+ campaign. The campaign support sustainable public procurement amongst local authorities.

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