LSA at the table with the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce STAT Conference.

LSA chairman Carl Lomas was at the STAT Supply chain skills network June conference which started with strong, extra strong coffee in Friday sunshine at the Connaught rooms with three young apprentices introducing the event that was focused on next generation workforce.

The very latest skills-forecasting document, published the previous day was on the tables. The apprentices opened the event and closed it, they spoke about bridging the gap between perceptions of the two stream options, academic or apprentice.

Keynote by Mike Brown, ‘We must rise to the challenge and find our future talent.

Words from the under sec of state, Nusrat Gahni and powerful deliveries from employers including Skanska, Network Rail, Highways England alongside CIPD boss Peter Cheese who spoke more consistent language on core skills in the supply chain.


Mike Brown delivered the keynote speech,

We must rise to the challenge and find our future talent.’ While we all deal with the goals of fulfilling contracts we must also see viability for the next generation and remain focused on apprentices. STAT is important for all our futures, it is connecting the wheels and cogs across the supply chain sector. Good quality apprenticeships for young people reflects what is required for our sector to go forward.


Following Mike Brown; Under Sec of State for Transport, Nusrat Gahni.

The sector is equipping Britain with projects and programmes, we have always built roads, rail and water but at this moment today we are working on all modes all at the same time.


Neil Robertson, CEO for the National Skills Academy for Rail,

The cost of not training is low productivity. Productivity is not a puzzle.


Neil displayed the six-part jigsaw model and explained containment for wage inflation as he spoke removing barriers to investing in skills.

Business certainty in rail projects is a challenge, we have 12 and 18 month contracts while apprenticeships are three years long, we need to pool demand and share.


Dana Skelley, Skanska

I want to stimulate your conversations to fix the skills gap. Think more about connecting professions in the supply chain.


Sarah Hough from Skanska,

Barrier to investing in apprenticeships has been a lack of understanding of levy by employers.


Paolo Nistri, London Legacy development corporation. Driving diversity, a look at the initiatives from the development of the Queen Elizabeth Park.

The post-2012 games ambition was partnerships with industry involving the supply chain led programmes. Targets are a way of learning, they are not there to breach contracts, shared objectives for apprenticeships are the goal.


Taking a breath from the focused morning vision of apprenticeship challenge a short break in the Connaught rooms before a lively second half of recruitment focused supply chain introduced by Highways England, Nicky Ensert who showcased CIPD boss Peter Cheese who spoke passionately, ‘The perception of apprenticeship value needs to rise.


Nicky Ensert, Highways England,

‘We are building new policies for HR. Highways England is a new company, government owned but only three years old. There is great expertise in this room, my question to you; How does the term apprentice sit in the wider world? Who is the apprentice?’


Nicky portrayed the diversity of the apprenticeship candidates in Highways England with a wide ranging photo set of individuals, they were all apprentices. A big win at Highways England has been the growth of staff networks, sharing best practice across the businesses

CIPD boss Peter Cheese took the stage from Nicky in the post break recruitment workshop.

We are in the 4th industrial revolution, its driven by technology in the workplace, different ways of working are upon us, the perception of apprenticeships needs to rise. Parents are a barrier following the government push to University places. We need to showcase the no debt routes for apprenticeships.


Sonya Veerasamy, EW Group,

In recruitment you must recognise your bias and adapt. Disadvantaged groups are becoming more disadvantaged in the sector.


Loraine Martins, director of diversity at Network Rail looked further at dealing with unconscious bias.

We need to look at role models and focus on people, people are the solutions to our business not the engineering or infrastructure.’ Loraine delivered passion with her statement, ‘We must focus on the people.


Joanna Abeyie, Hyden recruiting,

Diversity is judging difference, you must involve the people you are trying to attract. Where is all the talent you are looking for? Host a lunch geared to a question you face in the sector. Those at the lunch with answers to that question are your next talent pool.


The second STATS annual event closed as it opened with the three apprentices from TfL, HS2 and DfT delivering the final words,

It’s about bridging the gap between apprentices and formal academic streams.


Photo gallery extract


2018 news jun stat 01

Mike Brown TfL launches report at STAT


2018 news jun stat 02

Neil Robertson NSAR ‘The Jigsaw’



2018 news jun stat 04

Nicky Ensert Highways England – writing the HR policies for a new company.