To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to support the (a) recruitment and (b) training of (i) women and (ii) people from minority groups to work in the rail sector.
The Department is committed to ensuring that the transport workforce better reflects our diverse society. On 7 February the Department published a Transport Labour Market and Skills Call for Views and Ideas, which asks for views on the future labour market and skills needs of the transport sector, including how we can do more to target and reduce the barriers to improving diversity, inclusion, and social mobility.
The Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail also sets out a commitment to empower rail’s people and the new body, Great British Railways (GBR) will work with the sector to develop a new sector wide workforce plan with a joined up cross-sector training and skills offer. This approach will support a consistent and sustainable approach in future recruitment practices.
Passenger services rail operators are required under their respective contracts to provide apprenticeships to people from underrepresented groups within the rail sector. The Department has also included a requirement for passenger services rail operators to apply aspirational targets to encourage the increased recruitment of female and ethnic minority groups.