Monday 30 July 2018 / 11:10 AM Andy McDonald / Rail

Labour Build it in Britain campaign – disastrous exporting of rail manufacturing to end under Labour

Visiting Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education as part of Labour’s Build It In Britain campaign for reviving the UK’s rich industrial heritage, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary will reveal that:

  • Over the last eight years, hundreds of millions of pounds in rail manufacturing contracts have gone overseas.
  • Between 2010 and 2017, 1 in 8 jobs involved in manufacturing trains have been lost, while between 2010 and 2016, turnover of locomotive and rolling stock, is down 10 per cent.
  • The National Skills Academy for Rail estimates that rail apprentice numbers have declined to just 1,800 in 2016/17. This is almost 50 per cent less than in 2011/12 and less than half the amount the sector needs.

Labour has a three pronged pro British manufacturing plan to build our rail network in Britain. The next Labour government will:

  • Change public sector procurement rules so that government supports jobs and industry, and promotes a fairer society.
  • Invest in infrastructure using its National Investment Bank, in order to help companies here in Britain keep goods flowing efficiently and keep costs low.
  • Invest more in education, skills and lifelong learning through its National Education Service.

Speaking ahead of the visit, part of Labour’s ‘Build it in Britain’ campaign launched last week, Andy McDonald MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said:

“Over the decades that the Tories have savaged our industrial heritage, rail manufacturing has declined, major public contracts have gone overseas, and the skills the sector needs have received unforgivably poor support.

“We will rebuild our rail industry, to develop the hi-tech skills of young people and all workers, to promote 21st Century manufacturing, and to defend jobs and the communities that depend on them.

“Labour will build a rail network fit for the 21st century, one that will provide the foundation for a rail system placed back in the public’s hands.

“The next Labour government is going to throw its weight behind British rail manufacturing, and build a British rail network that works for the many, not the few.”