The Department for Transport has announced the launch of a new Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce (STAT), which will aim to plug the ongoing skills gap within the UK transport sector.

Overall, the government hopes to create a further 30,000 apprentice places within the nation's transport sector by the end of the decade and the new STAT will play an integral role in this push.

The body will work alongside members of the UK's transport sector to help in the delivery of quality training programmes that attract the best and the brightest, ensuring that the dour and dull image that many might associate with a career in transport is rapidly dispelled.

Indeed, transport minister Lord Ahmad commented: "Transport these days is about computers in laboratories as much as cranes in landfill sites.

"That is why STAT will help inspire and enable people from all walks of life to choose transport, and ensure we have the diverse and skilled workforce we need to deliver our ambitious agenda."

Made up of some of the UK's top individuals in their fields and covering the full spectrum of UK transport, the STAT board will include commercial and procurement director for Highways England David Poole and programme director for infrastructure at Transport for London George McInulty, among others.

Bringing together apprentices and businesses from different backgrounds and industries, the scheme will be open to new entrants as well as the existing workforce, while at the same time promoting careers in transport to young people, mid-career changers and industry returners.

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