Launching the State of the Nation 2013 Passenger Transport and Travel report, Mr Baker said: “It is vital to have the right people with the right skills in order to maximise the productivity and performance of any sector. Transport is no exception.
“I am impressed with the work taking place to improve the skills of the people who keep our transport system running and it is clear employers are making serious investments into the future of our industry.”
With relatively few employers offering a majority of the roles, the industry has traditionally suffered from the mistaken belief that there are few career opportunities beyond becoming a pilot or cabin crew.
Brian Wisdom, chief executive of People 1st, which produced the report, said that this inaccurate image of the industry is leading to a large number of hard-to-fill vacancies.
He added: “There is a huge misunderstanding about the range of career options available within the aviation industry and roles in areas such as ground handling, flight engineers and airport duty managers have the potential to offer exciting careers with excellent opportunities for advancement.
“Yet these roles have not traditionally been promoted and it’s time to change that.”
The research has found that employers and educators would benefit from working more closely together and while there are some examples of this already underway, the scale of this work is not broad enough.