The Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) has linked up with a further education college and local employers to develop flexible training courses with the aim of tackling the skills gap in the sector.
IHE chief executive Richard Hayes (pictured - centre) met staff from Bath College, representatives from Bath & North East Somerset Council and Aggregate Industries to discuss ways in which prospective students can be attracted to the sector and how best to develop the careers of those working in it.
The meeting considered the well-established Bath Highway course and its ongoing development.
Bath College is one of only a few further education colleges nationally that has been successful in securing financial backing from the HEFCE Catalyst Fund to develop higher education courses.
The FAR project, (Flexible and Accelerated Routes) centres on computing and civil engineering HNC/D courses. Working with employers it will enable students to achieve in a shorter period of time as well as helping address local, regional and national skills shortages as identified in the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
Rosaleen Courtney, contracts and distance learning manager at Bath College said: ‘There is a skills shortage in the highways sector and it is important that we develop routes for people to enter the sector and continue to develop their skills.
‘The highways distance learning courses offered by Bath College are available online and will be updated in line with market needs, which is why it is so important to work cohesively with employers, contractors and the Institute.’
For more information, please email Simon Bracken, higher education manager or call 01225 328627.
The IHE has also met with many local employers and SMEs in the highways sector to develop flexible training opportunities.
Over the past 18 months it has developed a series of professional development training courses to enable individuals and organisations to improve their skills, achieve recognition and proceed towards professional registration.
Courses and assessment of competence are now available in the following subject areas:
- Asset management
- Highway maintenance
- Winter service
- Cycling infrastructure design
- Traffic sign design
- Traffic signal design
- Temporary traffic management design
- Road safety engineering
With many providers of training within the highway sector, the IHE said it recognises the many opportunities available to individuals and seeks to add the additional value of registration with the Engineering Council at Eng. Tech, I Eng. and C Eng. to anyone irrespective of qualifications.