IHE launches virtual academy as Pearson presidency begins

Chris Ames

The Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) has established a new ‘virtual’ training academy, offering industry-led training in highway engineering.

The academy aims to deliver qualifications, skills and knowledge either by distance learning, or through one of its specialist training courses.

The IHE said it hopes the Highway Engineering Academy will be ‘a training hub for the next generation of highway professionals, and provide an opportunity for qualified engineers and technicians to undertake training to refine and upgrade their skill set for working within the highways industry’.

In the foreword to the academy prospectus, new IHE president Jonathan Pearson said: ‘The IHE is alarmed by the skills shortage within the highways sector and we’re taking action to address it by establishing a one-stop-shop to provide highway engineers with a unique professional development facility.

‘The aim of IHE’s new Highway Engineering Academy is to train a dedicated workforce with the specialist skills and expertise the industry needs to build the UK’s road network.’

He added: ‘New technologies such as Smart Motorways have had an impact on the highways industry, which has historically drawn on traditional construction skills and this has resulted in the need for a broader range of engineering and technical skills to deliver the government’s future investment plans.’

The IHE said the academy has five key objectives at its heart:

1. To create and signpost opportunities for new entrants in the sector by giving clear unambiguous advice on relevant training and Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

2. To encourage new entrants into the highway engineering sector particularly from school leavers, graduates, allied trades, complementary professions and groups currently under represented, including women.

3. To support existing highway professionals in career development via training and CPD with direct relevance to professional registration.

4. To commission and create new educational and training courses specifically aimed at highway engineers.

5. To raise the profile of highway engineers and get their career, skills and wider profession recognised in its own right and as one with equal status to complementary and contiguous professions such as civil engineering, transport planning, architecture etc.

It said the Academy aims to address the skills gap within the sector, and meet its objectives, by offering these activities:

  • Recognised and academically rigorous qualifications in highway engineering disciplines through accrediting learning and training.
  • Highways industry knowledge, expertise and skills, providing a life long career profile for highways practitioners.
  • Monitoring and addressing highways sector skills needs through industry-led training to ensure students are getting the highways engineering skills employers want.
  • Apprenticeship opportunities and hands-on experience.
  • Pathways to Professional Registration by signposting quality highway professional development opportunities.
  • Knowledge sharing with respected industry experts, promoting the highway engineering profession.
  • Commissioning and promoting PGDip/PDCert in highway engineering subjects.
  • Registers for competent highway engineers.

The academy is free to all IHE members and affiliates. Non-members may join as affiliates for an annual fee of £57 per year. 

The IHE is a key partner at Traffex Seeing is Believing. Any new members who join at the IHE stand during the two day event will receive free membership of the organisation for the remainder of 2018, provided they continue their membership during 2019

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