Lunch with Leon episode 10 – Howard Collins OBE

Young people: Don’t worry about the recession, as there are career opportunities right now in transport for engineering and other high-skill roles such as operations.

That’s the upbeat message from Howard Collins OBE, who says that as other sectors shrink, transport offers good opportunities for young people aspiring for a skilled career.

Chatting over Lunch with Leon Daniels, he argues that the transport sector has traditionally been seen by young people as “not exciting” and struggled to recruit as a result of this perception.

He says that we should do much more to wave the flag and highlight the range of jobs available, beyond the stereotypical roles.

The former London Underground Chief Operating Officer at Transport for London, Howard Collins now holds the same post at Transport for New South Wales (TNSW), but in a wider role covering the whole of the Greater Sydney region, responsible for rail, bus, roads, maritime, metro and light rail.

Despite the recent setback of the ‘second resurgence’ of COVID-19 in Australia, TNSW is one of the few large organisations that is busier than ever, as social distancing sees it running more services than it did pre-COVID.

Backed by a highly-intensive vehicle and fixed-infrastructure cleaning regime, he draws lessons from his time in London and other world events to predict what 2025 will look like.

“We’re flat out with an A$80bn (£43bn) programme over the next four years,” he tells Leon Daniels about the TNSW investment in new projects, as they discuss whether the ‘infinite suppressed demand’ that London and other major cities experience will return.

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