MPs recognised for becoming Rail Fellows

28 November 2018

MPs who took part in the inaugural 2018 Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) Rail Fellowship Programme on Thursday 27 November were awarded at a ceremony in Parliament.

From left to right: Darren Caplan, Railway Industry Association; Lilian Greenwood MP; Mary Grant, Porterbrook; Stirling Kimkeran, Balfour Beatty

The group of cross-party MPs received recognition for taking part in the initiative, which showcases the UK rail industry to political decision-makers and influencers by placing them at state-of-the-art rail sites around the UK.
Through the Fellowship, MPs were encouraged to learn about the innovation, skills and exports potential of the UK rail sector, and to experience a hands-on day seeing what skilled professionals in the industry do to keep the rail network running – from changing brake pads to seeing liquid steel being turned into rails.

Darren Caplan, Chief Executive of the Railway Industry Association (RIA) said:  
“I want to thank the MPs who took part in the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme and to the RIA members who hosted them. Given the sometimes negative reporting associated with rail, it is important we recognise that there are thousands of jobs and billions of pounds of GVA associated with the rail industry; and this programme brings to life, for those who make and influence policy, what working in rail really entails.
“It’s great these Rail Fellows have taken the time to get to see first-hand what an innovative, skills-based and income generator for UK plc rail really is. We hope they can tell our story more widely, to promote the positive side of rail and attract more talent in to the sector in future.”
Lilian Greenwood MP, Transport Select Committee Chair / lead Rail Fellow in the Class of 2018 said: “It was a pleasure taking part in the inaugural RIA Rail Fellowship Programme. From meeting new apprentices starting out in the industry, to seeing new technologies, to even being taught how to drive a train on a simulator, I got to experience first-hand the day to day workings of our industry.
“Rail is an important sector to UK plc, not just in terms of helping people get around the country but also in providing jobs and skills, and helping economic regional and national growth. So on behalf of the RIA Rail Fellowship Class of 2018 I want to thank the RIA members who hosted us, and RIA themselves, for creating and organising a campaign which draws to attention what an exciting and important industry UK rail has become.”

Notes to Editors 

Led by the sector’s trade body, the Railway Industry Association (RIA), the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme promotes the work of the organisations that build, maintain and enhance the UK’s railways. At the ceremony, the Class of 2018 received trophies made of rail slices produced by British Steel with metal used on train tracks across the UK. MPs who took part in the inaugural 2018 Railway Industry Association’s (RIA) Rail Fellowship Programme and awarded at the ceremony today include:

  • Alison McGovern (LAB), Wirral South, visited Wabtec Faiveley;
  • Luke Pollard (LAB), Plymouth, Sutton & DevonportVortok;
  • Lilian Greenwood (LAB), Nottingham South, visited Balfour Beatty & Porterbrook;
  • Priti Patel, (CON), Witham, visited Bombardier;
  • Martin Vickers (CON), Cleethorpes, British Steel & AD Comms
  • Stephen Hammond, (CON), Wimbledon, visited Hitachi Rail Europe
About the RIA Rail Fellowship Programme: The RIA Rail Fellowship Programme is an exciting opportunity for UK parliamentarians and commentators to gain an insight into the valuable work of the UK rail supply chain at a RIA Member location. “Fellows” spend a day ‘on location’ with a RIA Member whose work is relevant to their role or constituency and experience opportunities reflecting the great diversity of technical disciplines within the rail sector. Candidates are gaining an invaluable understanding of a diverse workforce that together contribute £36 billion in economic growth and £11 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 600,000 people. 

About RIA: The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. It has some 240 companies in membership, in a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double over the next 25 years and freight set to grow significantly too. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). RIA 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.

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