Transport for London

Name of Company:Transport for London

Transport for London for Supplier Skills Programme

In 2008 Transport for London (TfL) commissioned a study which highlighted severe skills shortages and a lack of diversity in the transport industry, with the average engineer being white, male and aged 57. At the same time, London was experiencing low levels of skills and high unemployment, with one in four young Londoners out of education, employment or training, increasing to almost one in two for ethnic minority youth.

To address these issues, TfL’s Supplier Skills Programme was initiated in 2009. This includes contract requirements for suppliers to create skills and employment outcomes for disadvantaged Londoners as a condition of doing business with TfL. TfL supports suppliers, connecting them to a network of charities and employability partners and a pool of unemployed young people, and setting up bespoke pre-employment training such as the Route into work programme at the London Transport Museum.

TfL has supported their suppliers to create over 4,500 apprenticeships and bring over 5,000 workless Londoners into employment, including 100 ex-offenders. The programme has gained widespread recognition, improving TfL’s reputation by having a workforce that better represents the community it serves. The Department for Transport now requires other public sector bodies to replicate TfL’s approach, which will result in thousands more jobs for disadvantaged young people.

“Being offered this apprenticeship has helped me get my life back on the right path. I think it’s important that companies provide opportunities because it gives young people like me a chance to better their life and start a lengthy career in the rail industry.” Track maintenance engineer apprentice and former young offender



  • Over 4,500 apprenticeships created 
  • 5,000 workless Londoners brought into employment including 100 ex-offenders