Earlier today Mr O’Sullivan (pictured) delivered a keynote address to attendees on safety and innovation.
As the show’s primary event partner, Highways England’s main focus has been on how they are transforming the strategic road network through improving the environment; free-flowing roads; a safe and accessible network; and supporting economic growth.
Senior staff from a number of Highways England’s key business areas are in attendance at the event. They are discussing the following topics:
- Year two of the five-year Health and Safety Plan
- Incident prevention initiatives
- Smart motorways
- Stakeholder engagement.
Speaking to Highways Magazine, Mr O’Sullivan said: “This is a hugely important event for Highways England, bringing together all these different companies with all their different skills. And showing the knowledge they have and the products they produce with the rest of the industry. It’s a massively important thing for us to do.
“I think it’s important that engineers in their day to day working who don’t get a chance to see these products, get the chance to see them here.
“The range of products that are here today is amazing. For our people to see them and understand them and use them will make a contribution to our safety performance.”
With an ambitious government target of attracting 30,000 apprentices into road and rail by 2020, this year’s event has seen the introduction of an Apprenticeship/skills zone offering local students the chance to come along and find out about all the exciting opportunities that the sector has to offer.
Mr O’Sullivan continued: “This is a marvellous opportunity for apprentices and graduates to see the breadth of our industry. Actually, once you get into roads it’s hugely exciting. Highways England have taken on 51 graduates this year, which is more than before. Indeed, our apprentice numbers are up to. We expect that trend to continue in the long term.”
Highways SIB (Seeing is Believing) is taking place at Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground in Leicestershire from 9-10 November. It is Europe’s only event for indoor showcasing of highway products as well as outdoor demonstrations in all lighting conditions.
You can read a full and exclusive interview with Jim O’Sullivan in the December 2016 issue of Highways Magazine.