TRI academic on transport industry Burns Supper panel

Date posted

25 January 2017

The effects of Brexit on the supply chain of transport professionals to industry is of critical interest to government and the private sector at present. To maintain competitiveness post-Brexit, the country must invest in infrastructure, but Brexit itself potentially starves it of the skilled workforce required to achieve this. Training and development of new transport engineers has never been more important.

In recognition the challenges faced, a panel debate was held at a major industry Burns Supper held in Glasgow, chaired by BBC Scotland's Business and Transport Correspondent, David Henderson. The event was attended by over 250 senior staff from national and local government and directors of major transport engineering consultants and contractors.

Richard Llewellyn, of Edinburgh Napier University's Transport Research Institute was invited to speak on the panel to represent the higher education sector. The panel also featured former Westminster Minster of State for Transport, Dr Stephen Ladyman and Dionne Winter, Director of HeadNorth Consulting.

The debate covered interesting and challenging angles, including the impact on EU students currently studying in Scotland, the impact on EU teaching and research staff based here and the general sustainability of higher education institutions following Brexit. In particular, the implications of the potential loss of the EU Horizon 2020 research funding stream and the shortfall in university revenues were discussed.

As with much of the current debate around Brexit, the discussion raised as many questions as answers due to the lack of a definitive central government position. However, as a result of the debate, industry is now clear on the issues involved and the way in which it can support the sector over what will be a turbulent few years.