Awareness Spotlight

Spotlight on careers, skills and apprenticeships

To celebrate National Apprenticeship week and National Careers week held recently, EEH spoke to apprentices working with our partners about their experiences and their careers.

We spoke to four apprentices pursing different qualifications in the transport industry. They provide insight into why they chose to become apprentices, what appealed to them about working in transport and what skills they feel they have gained.

Narrowing the ‘skills gap’ - particularly with regards transport planning and strategy – has been raised as a major issue by EEH’s partners. We’re currently working with the sector to explore how a long-term plan can be developed to address the transport planning skills challenge in the region.

We talked to; Jack Sheldrake who works at Buckinghamshire Council and is pursuing a level 3 Business Administration apprenticeship in the Transport Strategy team. Jack Tickle who is working on a Level 3 Transport Planning Apprenticeship at Buckinghamshire Council. Samuel Cartledge who is completing a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship in Civil Engineering at Laing O’Rourke. And Beth Hodskinson, a degree level Civil Engineering apprentice with Laing O’Rourke.

Our apprentices described that their apprenticeship was highly beneficial for personal and professional development. As motivation for joining the industry they described how transport was crucial to the functioning and betterment everyday life. As a reflection of why to work in transport they described how they enjoyed working in a sector where no day was the same. All of the apprentices recommended apprenticeships for those looking to get into the industry as you can gain skills, experience and confidence whilst getting a qualification.

See the full interviews below

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Click to view their answers


December 2022

This month, to mark Disability History Month UK (16 November 2022 - 16 December 2022) and International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December, we're looking at the government's plans for a Disability Action Plan and how East West Railway Company is planning to lift the barriers to accessible travel.

Disability Action Plan

To mark International Day of Persons with Disabilities, on 2 December the government announced a new cross-departmental Disability Action Plan which will be consulted on and published in 2023.

It will set out the practical action ministers across government will take over the next two years to improve disabled people’s lives.

The announcement follows the Minister for Disabled People, Health and Work, Tom Pursglove MP, officially opening the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) research lab at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Mr Pursglove, the MP for Corby and East Northamptonshire, said: "Over one in five people in the UK are disabled. It’s vital we continue to take concerted action across government to improve disabled people’s lives.

"I’ll be bringing forward our Disability Action Plan in 2023 to build on government reform of the disability agenda, underlining our global leadership on disability rights and leading the way in areas such as assistive tech and accessibility.

"It was inspiring to visit the GDI’s new research lab where this type of innovation is in action – unlocking opportunities so that more disabled people can reach their potential."

East West Rail

The East West Railway is currently planning how it will make sure its services are accessible to as many people as possible.

Caroline Eglinton, the Company's head of inclusion (pictured above), said: "As a brand new railway, we have the unique opportunity of making EWR fully accessible right from the start, where every aspect of the customer experience is considered."

She said it was important to consider the wide range of disabled people – including physical and mental, visible and non-visible conditions. She highlights that as a disabled person herself she feels "passionate about lifting the barriers on accessible travel."

A large part of her role will be building relationships with disabled people locally – listening to views and feeding this insight back into the Company's teams.

She added: "A critical resource will be our Accessibility Advisory Panel, which we’re recruiting for now. This panel will include disabled people who live across the proposed route and meet regularly to consider things like access to stations and platforms, clarity of information and the onboard experience."

See the attached document for further information on the Accessibility Advisory Panel or click the website below for more information on inclusion in East West Rail