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UK must invest in skills for emerging transport technology says TSC

2 November 2016  •  Author(s): Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, Eurotransport

The UK must close emerging skills gaps in the transport sector says Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) following publication of its Intelligent Mobility Skills Strategy report.

UK must invest in skills for emerging transport technology says TSC

According to a new report from Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), ‘The UK must close emerging skills gaps in the transport sector, or risk relegating ourselves to the back of the pack for decades in a global transport technology race.’ The report also suggests that if no action is taken, an estimated £50 billion in GDP per annum could be lost.

Skills strategy needed to develop emerging transport technology

TSC, overseen by Innovate UK, has described the report as a call to action for government, academia and industry to invest in a skills strategy. With ‘Intelligent Mobility’ expected to grow to £900 billion per annum by 2025, TSC believes a strategy will enable to UK to achieve global leadership in the field.

According to TSC, new technology such as self-driving vehicles and changing business models (such as the sharing economy), coupled with growing digital capabilities, will herald a new age in transport. However, the report considers that the labour market needs to be enhanced with new skills if it is to lead to new jobs and economic growth.

Commenting on the report, TSC CEO Steve Yianni said: “Previous investment in skills development and innovation in our leading aerospace or automotive sectors has helped produce world beating industries. However, we now stand on the brink of a transport revolution driven by a new generation of technology.

“This digital revolution is fundamentally changing the labour market. Rapid improvements in autonomous systems and artificial intelligence are enabling the automation of a broader range of non-routine manual tasks. With improved sensing technology being developed in the field of robotics, jobs in transportation and logistics could become fully automatable. However, there are also enormous opportunities to create new, highly skilled jobs within the industry as we develop these new products and services.” 

“American federal investment is doubling to help bring these technologies to the commercial market”

TSC Skills Programme director Yolande Herbath added:  “None of our international competitors are being complacent. American federal investment is doubling to help bring these technologies to the commercial market and we are seeing initiatives in places like Germany to prepare economies for this change.

“Today we have a unique opportunity to develop a labour force capable of competing in an emerging £900bn global transport technology economy. But if we don’t act, we risk relegating ourselves to the back of the pack for decades.”

The Intelligent Mobility Skills Strategy report can be downloaded here.

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