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Transport workforce needs to adapt for net zero future

Deniz Huseyin
06 September 2022
Role models for a more diverse workforce: Everywoman in Transport and Logistics Awards 2022 winners
Role models for a more diverse workforce: Everywoman in Transport and Logistics Awards 2022 winners

Skills within the transport sector are rapidly changing but there is an urgent need for greater focus on decarbonisation, with the workforce increasingly involved in electrification and the use of alternative fuels, a DfT consultation has found.

Moves towards a net zero future offer an ideal opportunity to improve transport sector diversity and for outreach, especially to young people who are increasingly interested in solving the climate challenge, feedback suggested.

Respondents called for a host a changes within the sector including: more flexibility around contracts; job sharing; family friendly policies to support working parents; better sick leave policies; practices that foster work life balance; mandatory training on bullying and harassment and zero tolerance when it occurs.

The transport sector still suffers from an “image problem” and it should  showcase the variety of roles on offer more effectively, the study says. 

The report warned that without having visible role models to promote careers in the sector, underrepresented groups might perceive the industry as “unwelcoming”.

The summary of responses noted that the public perceived roles in transport as a “man’s job” with roles that involve dirty, manual and physical work.

Some suggested that there was still a perception that certain groups are not welcome due to their background, appearance or gender.

While respondents said that many positive initiatives to improve diversity have been tried across the industry, there was no straightforward answer to addressing the issues and the pace of change had been insufficient.

Many respondents felt that recruitment processes should be reviewed, and proposed interventions such as removing gender bias in job working, guaranteed interviews, ‘blind’ recruitment, unconscious bias training, and taking neurodiversity into account.

Diversification of learning opportunities could help the industry attract staff from other sectors, respondents said.

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