PRESS RELEASE

 Date released:   14 April 2020

Subject: Rail Forum Midlands Supports Rail Supply Chain During Covid-19 Outbreak

Rail Forum Midlands (RFM) represents and supports some 220 rail companies from across the Midlands and beyond. Members include large multinational corporations together with numerous SMEs working across the whole industry from infrastructure and rolling stock equipment manufacture, maintenance and other services to consultancies, testing and data/software solutions companies.

During these challenging times many of our members are continuing to work, be this to keep the railway operational so that key workers can get to work or in their manufacturing or service roles helping to keep the economy moving. They have adapted quickly to put in place new working arrangements and new health and safety practices to keep their staff safe. Some are experiencing a significant downturn in work and are making use of the government support mechanisms that have been put in place.

Since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak the home based RFM team have continued to provide significant support to members. This includes:

  • Regular news bulletins providing all the latest information covering everything from government support and guidance to the latest Network Rail and OEM information;
  • Constant dialogue with members to understand their issues, concerns and to seek their input to what support they need of government;
  • Regular dialogue with both Department for Transport and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy helping to shape government policies. On 26th March we produced a document summarising four key asks of government which was widely circulated at the time;

RFM Covid 19 Summary Of Issues 260320v1

  • Regular dialogue with Network Rail, OEMS and other key clients.

RFM has also publicised the industry’s wider efforts to support the NHS, this includes several members who are actively working to design, prototype and manufacture PPE.

RFM have also launched three types of online events for members:

  • Hot Topics: sessions addressing a specific key issue. Events have included Practicalities of Furlough, Force Majeure/Contracting Complexities with Bombardier Production Restart, Supply Chain Resilience and other topics planned;
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing: in partnership with RFM member The Mental Wealth Company we have launched a series of sessions aimed at both individuals and managers to help them adjust to the new world we find ourselves in and to help people look after themselves, their families and their teams
  • Online Surgeries: these drop in sessions involving Department for BEIS provide the opportunity for members to raise issues and put questions directly to government representatives.

Elaine Clark, CEO of Rail Forum Midlands said “Our members very much value our events so with the temporary pause in our normal calendar we acted quickly to replace these with short online sessions covering the issues that are important to our companies right now. All the events are free for members and they are proving a real hit with nearly 200 delegates attending them to date. As the current situation progresses we will continue to support members including working with government and other key stakeholders to ensure that the supply chain is well placed to recover as quickly as possible”.

 

ENDS

 

For further information contact

Elaine Clark     elaineclark@midlandsrail.co.uk      

 

About Rail Forum Midlands (RFM)

 

Rail Forum Midlands (RFM) is the only regionally focussed rail trade organisation in the UK. Supporting the nationally and internationally important rail supply chain cluster across the Midlands RFM has over 220 members providing products and services across all aspects of the industry. RFM actively supports the national rail agenda and strategy, encouraging collaboration, promoting members’ capabilities, leading a number of regional skills initiatives and supporting innovation and export priorities. RFM is owned and governed by its members with a Board drawn from member companies.   www.midlandsrail.co.uk

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