The Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) is alarmed by the skills shortage within the highways sector and is addressing it through collaboration with industry to elevate the practical.
IHE Chief Executive Richard Hayes said “the IHE want to recognise experience and focus on providing engineers and technicians with the skill set and knowledge that is vitally needed by the highways industry.”
WJ have embraced the IHE initiative and are building upon their own Training Academy, the requirements of National Highways Sector Scheme 7 (NHSS7) and the Road Safety Markings Association (RSMA) apprenticeship training to gain professional recognition for their staff. The road marking sector has a considerable number of people, with practical experience, who have risen through the ranks to become supervisors, managers and directors and now the IHE are ensuring the wider industry can recognise them as professionals providing they can demonstrate the requisite skills and experience.
“Our people are our greatest asset. How often do we hear that statement, but it is meaningless without empowering them.” says Wayne Johnston, WJ Group Managing Director. WJ has grown a highly successful business by following that ethos and recognising employees as professional people who make a valuable contribution to successful implementation of highway infrastructure maintenance and improvement.
“Training and recognising your staff to this level opens opportunities for them to refine and upgrade their skills so they can progress with their careers. By treating them with fairness, inclusion and respect, I believe they will want to put those enhanced skills to use in the future development of the WJ Group.” continued Johnston.
Membership of the IHE allows WJ individuals to take advantage of the Institutes extensive highways experience and trained specialist advisors, mentors and reviewers whilst working towards formally recognised qualifications, based upon their industry experience.
It is anticipated that as BS11000 collaborative working becomes a standard way of doing business, having staff with industry recognised professional qualifications, complimented by sector qualifications already achieved will raise the professional status of WJ staff to enable more collaborative engagement and make highways infrastructure delivery more efficient.