More must be done to improve the ”collective brand image for highways” and encourage diversity within the highways sector, according to a new survey.
There is a “lack of awareness” of careers available across the sector irrespective of which part of the sector people join or work in. The survey, carried out for the Highways Sector Council (HSC) Future Leaders Group, also noted a need for better cross-transferability of skills across the sector and transport.
Over two-thirds of the respondents would recommend highways as a career of choice, the HSC study revealed. Respondents listed career opportunity, making a difference, problem solving and satisfaction of seeing your work as the top reasons for working in the sector.
Of those in the sector, 56% were male and 39% were female. Research also showed that 47% had joined the highways sector mid-career.
The survey was undertaken to better understand how the sector can continue to attract skilled candidates from all backgrounds, understand future skills required and retain its existing talent.
More than 1,000 individuals responded from the public and private sector across the UK in both the strategic and local road networks, covering over 200 roles at every level.
In partnership with others industry stakeholders, the HSC is hosting workshops across the UK for the wider industry to input into our plans and priorities. The workshops will range from CEO through to apprentice to make sure we canvas the views at every level across the sector.
The workshops will start in January 2023 and will span the country as we seek to engage our workforce in shaping highways as a career of choice.
Anna Delvecchio, founding member of the HSC, said: “We now have a credible baseline to work with. We can absolutely deliver a campaign making highways a career of choice, but we need to work in greater collaboration as a sector with a stronger partnership between the public and private sector, our clients, and the DfT to ensure our sector flourishes in growth and jobs.”
Elliot Shaw, national highways chief customer and strategy Officer said: “These survey results underline the importance of showcasing the opportunities that exist across our sector. Our people take huge satisfaction from knowing that the work they do matters to people’s lives day in day out, but we need to continue to grow and diversify our sector if we are to achieve our societal, environmental and economic goals. Greater collaboration will be integral to our success and the Highways Sector Council’s role will be crucial.”
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