More than 100 senior colleagues and VIP guests from across the industry gathered in Birmingham last Wednesday (21/7) for the Rail Forum Midlands ‘Engaging the Supply Chain, Future Talent Development’ Dinner. Andrew Stephenson MP and Minister of State for Transport was the headline speaker who, in his first face to face public speech for 16 months, reiterated the importance of inspiring and developing the next generation of railway professionals. The assembled audience also heard from Justin Tucker, past apprentice and current Business Manager with SSE Enterprise who talked about his journey and challenged the companies present to provide others with similar opportunities. Neil Robertson, CEO of the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) closed the event with a motivational speech urging the audience to get behind Rail Forum Midlands and its work to engage the workforce of tomorrow…today!
Elaine Clark, CEO of Rail Forum Midlands, said: ”Over the last several months we have been working behind the scenes on our schools engagement activity. As we all start to emerge from the relative isolation of the last 18 months an event to remind people of what we have been doing together with launching us into the next phase of delivery for the new academic year seemed appropriate. It was great to see so many of our members including long-standing companies such as Alstom, Porterbrook and SNC Lavalin alongside new members Arcadis, Linxon and SSE Enterprise. We were also joined by numerous SMEs from across the sector all who see the importance of supporting young people through school, further and higher education and into careers. We are hugely grateful for the support of Rail Business Daily who sponsored the event. “
David McLoughlin, CEO of Rail Business Daily, said: “It was a pleasure to sponsor this event and, once again, to be in the presence of so many people who are so dedicated to making Britain’s railways a success. This is such an important subject and here at Rail Business Daily we are committed to supporting the industry via our advisory, profile enhancement, online/offline media, community and recruitment businesses. If you are looking to grow your rail company, please talk to us about how we can help you. Thanks to Elaine and the team for putting on such an enjoyable and value-adding event.”
Organisations attending on the evening were invited to pledge their support to the agenda by signing a ‘pledge board’. They were joined by both the Department for Transport and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy who also confirmed their support. Organisations were also encourage to sign up to the Tomorrow’s Engineers Code which aims to promote collaboration across sectors on STEM engagement.
In the coming weeks, Rail Forum Midlands will be working with several companies to launch the Primary Engineer Rail programme into a cohort of junior schools together with an updated iRail secondary school offer. iRail has been running for over 12 years and, going forward, there will be a series of rail themed lessons and a project that will be available for in-school delivery by teachers. These will complement the longstanding iRail STEM Challenge Day.
“We need several industry volunteers to support both Primary Engineer and iRail and we are also keen to build on the fantastic sponsorship we have secured to date to enable us to reach more schools going forward. So if you can help please get in touch!” added Elaine.
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Rail Forum Midlands (RFM) is a national industry body with strong regional connections including supporting the nationally and internationally important rail supply chain cluster across the Midlands; RFM has 280 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.
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Rail Business Daily’s highly successful newsletter goes out to 50,000 industry influencers and decision-makers at 7am each week day and at 11am on a Saturday. Rail Business Daily breaks more news than anyone else in UK Rail. Rail Director is published monthly and Inside Track every two months. Written by Danny Longhorn and industry stalwart, Nigel Wordsworth, contributors can send in news and features. Both publications have incredible reach and impact with around 40,000 readers in total. Rail Business Daily also owns the Rail Insider online platform. Eli Rees-King, who joined Rail Business Daily earlier this year operates the RBDCommunity. Please speak to Eli about how we can help organisations to win more business. We can even support companies with their recruitment and selection needs via our white collar recruitment business RBDStride.