Blackman’s visit marked the opening of the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme, Class of 2022. This is the programme’s fifth year, and it has grown immeasurably in that time, welcoming Cabinet Ministers, Transport Select Committee Chairs, prominent MPs, Lords, Assembly Members and local councillors onto rail sites across the country, to ensure politicians have a deeper and more personal understanding of the day-to-day goings on in the rail industry.
The rail industry is a major economic contributor to UK plc, generating £43 billion in economic growth, supporting 710,000 jobs and providing £14 billion in tax revenue. So, it is more important than ever that policy makers understand the work the rail supply sector does to support the network, getting a hands-on experience of railway work. The pipeline of interest for the programme in 2022 is already strong, and it continues to go from strength to strength.