Industrial strategy offers job boost, say rail suppliers
The Government’s new industrial strategy could create up to 40,000 new jobs in the rail industry supply chain, according to the Rail Supply Group and the Railway Industry Association (RIA).
In a joint submission to the Government’s consultation on its industrial strategy, they call for a ‘rolling programme’ of investment to remove what they call the “feast and famine that has characterised rail investment to date”.
They also seek a move to outputbased specification, which they say would allow the private sector to innovate and drive efficiency. Support to remove barriers to innovation, private finance and productivity, longer-term contracts, a procurement approach which values UK content, support for a supply chain development programme, and match-funding to help create efficiencies could all create the potential for an additional 40,000 new jobs in the industry.
RIA Chief Executive Darren Caplan said: “The Government’s industrial strategy represents a real opportunity to refresh and reset the rules of the game for rail supply with the creation of a dedicated sector deal, adoption of longer-term contracts, procurement efficiencies and changes to the way contracts are specified.
“There is a lot the industry can do itself to improve, but there are also areas where the sector’s deepening partnership with Government can deliver results. It’s an exciting time to work in rail supply, and our joint submission reflects the appetite from industry to step up to meet the challenges facing rail in Britain.”