The UK’s rail industry is about to experience the “biggest rail modernisation programme since Victorian times”, according to the Rail Supply Group, which announced its plans to drive productivity and opportunities in the rail sector.
The Rail Supply Group brings together the Government’s stance on the UK’s economic growth via the rail industry and the voices of the large and small businesses supplying it to devise new strategies to enhance productivity, skills and employment opportunities.
During an event at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre (AMTC), the group unveiled its strategy for ensuring that the UK remains a global industry leader, including plans to take on 20,000 new apprentices and a coherent skills plan to introduce fresh talent to the rail sector. To support this, the group intends on publishing a rail skills plan by March 2016 and will launch a network of training facilities later this year to help develop a skilled UK workforce.
Secretary of State for Transport and co-chair Patrick McLoughlin, commented:
“We are creating opportunities for UK suppliers across the country. We support the rail industry’s plans to strengthen our supply chain so British companies can win more work here and abroad. Our priority is to attract the nation’s talent to the industry and to equip them with the skills to deliver on our commitment to build a world class transport infrastructure system.”
The UK’s rail industry is already seeing a positive trend, with passenger journeys doubling in the past 20 years and overall growth expected to be at 2.7% a year. The government has also pledged to commit over £38 billion to improve upon the country’s workforce and infrastructure during the modernisation programme.
Combined with the RSG’s pledge to deliver thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships, a more strategic approach to procurement & planning and a plan to drive UK technologies, the UK’s Rail sector looks set to be revolutionised over just the next few years.
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