Government and industry unite to drive UK rail growth

The Rail Supply Group (RSG) has launched its strategy to build growth in the UK rail industry and support exports.

During an event at the Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre ( AMTC) in Coventry, the Rail Supply Group ( RSG) – the sector council representing the rail supply chain in the UK – presented its detailed plan to improve productivity and secure the future of the UK railway. 
Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and co-chair of the Rail Supply Group, hosted the event and said: “The UK was a rail industry pioneer and this strategy will ensure we are global leaders for years to come. A strong rail sector supply chain is essential for our future productivity and the commitment to take on 20,000 new apprentices will provide opportunities for our young people to start successful careers in this vital sector.
The strategy supports suppliers of all sizes by improving the conditions across the supply chain. It sets out the RSG’s plan to implement its Productivity Pledge, which commits the rail supply sector to deliver a strategic approach to procurement and planning, clear plan to drive world-class UK technologies, coherent skills plan to attract the best talent and increase productivity, comprehensive package of support for SMEs, and a fresh, co-ordinated approach to increase exports and inward investment.​
The RSGbrings together private sector leaders from large and small businesses across the rail industry with government. The rail sector generates £3.4 billion for the UK economy each year and its supply chain directly employs over 124,000 people, with many more employed in the rail sector as a whole.​
Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport and co-chair of the Rail Supply Group said: “We are funding the biggest rail modernisation programme since Victorian times which is creating opportunities for UK suppliers across the country. We support the rail industry’s plans to strengthen our supply chain so British companies can win more work here and abroad.
“Rail Supply Group’s focus on developing a skilled rail workforce is very welcome. Our priority is to attract the nation’s talent to the industry and to equip them with the skills to deliver on our commitment to build a world class transport infrastructure system.”
In addition, invest in people and skills, including developing a network of training centres, an industry talent pool and incentivising training through revised procurement approaches and grow exports and inward investment by working closely with government to improve access to foreign markets, clients and investors, as well as supporting smaller suppliers to export.
The RSG’s strategy will support the sector to take advantage of positive trends in the global rail market, with global growth expected to be 2.7 per cent a year, reaching £128 billion by 2019. This comes as government has committed to spend over £38 billion to maintain and improve the UK rail network by 2019 in the biggest modernisation programme for over a century. 
RSG will review its strategy every 3 years and will work with a full range of groups to make sure it remains relevant for a growing industry.

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