It is evident that in-keeping with many other public service professional staff groups, the road service has considerable staff planning concerns looking to the future. The ongoing erosion of experience and numbers of skilled staff across the country is not sustainable. The age profile of road operatives and professional staff is increasing and many authorities are offering voluntary redundancy to older staff. There are very few new staff (especially at entry level) being brought into the roads service and career progression opportunities are limited.
Therefore, particular specialist skills, for example street lighting, road safety, traffic engineering, network management etc. are reducing, and opportunities for formal training becoming fewer. There is increasing use of consultants to provide skills such as structural design, traffic management and traffic regulation orders and this may not be cost effective in the long term. There are also gender balance concerns.
This project was led by a steering group made up of members from CITB, the Improvement Service, Qualifications for Industry, SCOTS, Skills Development Scotland and SPDS. The key features of the project were: