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Portfolio: Transport
main issues are the service, personal that happened only back in September. hours that are being used by companies
skills, recruitment [and] retention can be That’s a relatively new issue and it’s tak- to train their staff, the number of compa-
a problem with a lot of our industry, par- ing up quite a bit of our time.” nies that are going forward for Investors
ticularly the bus and coach industry.” He adds that it’s difficult to say how in People and meeting the standard.”
Emerging issues in the sector are iden- long it takes an industry to adapt to such However, he says that passenger
tified by an employers’ group in Scotland, changes, as there are many small compa- transport is not regarded by government
which has representatives from the vari- nies in the sector. “They are notoriously as a priority sector.
ous industries present, as well as through difficult to engage with, they’re very “That’s one of the big barriers to
day to day contact with employers. “We’ll operational, and they’re very short term.
It’s difficul
our sector, so it’s sometimes difficult for
go out and meet employers and that’s a It’s difficult running a small business, and
running companies in our sector to access fund-
way of picking up on issues that they’re training sometimes is something that is
a small
ing for training or for Investors in People,
struggling with,” Wheater adds. regarded as a luxury.
so that’s something we try to help out
Have these issues changed since “It’s difficult sometimes to engage
where we can.
GoSkills formation four years ago? with them and get them to work with “I think we’d like to see our sector
“There are a lot of issues that really us on issues like the driver CPC. They
be regarded more as a priority sector,
stay the same. Legislation’s a big area think there’s an issue coming that they
and obviously, issues that come into play
that we deal with. [Passenger transport have to deal with, but I think we worry is that might help us in the future would be
is] a highly legislated sector, so obviously, sometimes that some of the smaller firms
things like environmental issues, trying
when legislation comes along that has a maybe aren’t aware exactly what they
that is
to encourage people to use public trans-
training issue involved with it, then that’s need to do in terms of that piece of leg-
regarded as
port more, give up their cars.
something we have to work with. When islation, and maybe put off working on He adds: “The role that passenger
legislation happens then that’s some- that piece of legislation.”
a luxury
transport plays in economic development
thing we have to deal with, with employ- How, then, can GoSkills measure and tourism, for example, we don’t often
ers. The driver certificate of professional progress? “There are various measures
competence (CPC) is one example of that we can use. Another area we work
get credit for. The first thing a visitor to
Scotland will often meet will be people
that. That’s legislation that requires new on is labour market information, carry- working in the passenger transport sector,
drivers to go through increased testing ing out research on our sectors, so we can and first impressions are important. These
to get their licence and for existing driv- track over the years the number of people issues are ones we would hope that even-
ers to go through periodic training over in the sector, the number of companies tually, we’d get a bit more credit for than
a five-year period, and that’s something that are training their staff, the number of what we do at the present time.” HM
genomics forum
Putting the life in the life sciences...
With recent advances in stem cells, police DNA databases and GM biofuels already
impacting on all our daily lives, is society equipped to deal with the implications? Are
these high profile scientific innovations changing our lives faster than we can handle? Or
is regulation in the UK hampering progress in areas like medicine, crime detection and
food production?
Based in Edinburgh, the ERSC Genomics Policy and Research Forum explores the social, ethical and economic aspects of
today’s life sciences.
It runs a programme of national and international activities to draw natural and social scientists, policy-makers, regulators,
civil society and business into an ongoing discussion about the relationship between genomics and our everyday lives.
For more information visit or email
| | Holyrood magazine | 15 December 2008 |
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