Local MP for Wirral South attended the Wabtec Faiveley rail site in Birkenhead and spent the day learning the nuts and bolts of the work they do to benefit the rail supply chain. This is part of a new exciting campaign – the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme – which is showcasing the work of the UK rail supply chain by allowing Parliamentarians and influencers to gain hands-on experience in the industry. A number of MPs have now agreed to take part in the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme, as decision makers line up to pledge their support for the UK rail industry.
Alison had discussions with numerous employees on site at Wabtec Faiveley and had the chance to see up close the work that they do. She also held discussions with senior staff about the work of Northern Rail Industry Leaders (NRIL), the group which brings businesses together to boost rail in the region. The completion of today’s site visit enshrines Alison as a member of the RIA Rail Fellowship Class of 2018. The class of 2018 in full will be recognised with awards at the annual RIA Parliamentary reception in The House of Commons on Tuesday 27th November 2018.
Alison McGovern MP said: “I had a fascinating time completing the RIA Railway Fellowship Programme on the Wirral. I have had a long standing interest in how the rail industry operates because of my family’s background spent working in rail and my own experience of working in the industry. It was fantastic to meet the team at the site in Birkenhead and to tour the site. I learned a lot from my visit and want to thank the team for the experience which I really enjoyed.”
Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association said: “Wabtec Faiveley is a fantastic example of how the rail industry is generating skills and employment across the UK. The work of our rail sector is vital to the North of England and indeed the UK as a whole, boosting jobs, investment and economic growth. So it was great to show Alison the amazing facility and the work suppliers do to keep our rail network running.”
Ian Dolman from Wabtec Faiveley said: “We are so grateful through RIA to have the opportunity for Alison McGovern MP to spend time at our site in Birkenhead. The site is a benchmark for the local area and for the group with good retention and development of its skill base which includes annual recruitment apprentices and graduate trainees.”
The RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is being run by the Railway Industry Association (RIA), the representative body for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. RIA has more than 200 member companies and works to promote the importance of the rail system to UK plc, to help export UK expertise around the globe and to share best practice and innovation across the industry.
The rail sector is of crucial importance to the UK economy, contributing £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people—more than the workforce of Birmingham. It is also a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too.