Attracting new talent to the industry could now be made easier with a masters degree in highway engineering management extended to include all private sector firms across the country.
The UK’s first masters degree to train the next generation of roads engineers has been extended to include all private sector firms across the country.
EM Highway Services is the first to send a student on South East 7’s (SE7) two-year MSc in highway engineering management.
Councils outside the group of seven local authorities that make up SE7 have also been invited to send staff on the course launched in 2012 with Brighton University.
Previously only SE7 councils and their contractors, such as Kier, could enrol students.
The latest group started last month, with students’ time divided between learning on the job at one of the SE7 members or their contractors and university lectures.
SE7 was formed to find ways to save millions of pounds and improve services. Each council focuses on a specific area of work. Surrey has the lead role for highways, with other councils in charge of areas such as IT and special education needs.
Surrey leader David Hodge (pictured) said: “Our course was created to make sure we have highways engineers ready and able to go the extra mile and it’s great to be able to extend it to the private sector and other councils beyond the SE7 group.
“We’re serious about improving our roads by doing more for less and that means equipping the next generation of senior highways managers with the blend of technical and managerial skills they will need now and in the future.”
Seven students started the latest course. Study areas include contracts, engineering theory and design, asset and procurement management and personnel management.
The seven local authorities involved in SE7 cover Surrey, East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent, Hampshire, Brighton and Hove and Medway.