UKRIA is ‘fantastic showcase’ for industry
The inaugural UK Rail Industry Awards (UKRIA) celebrated the best of the industry last night, as hundreds of influential professionals came together to raise a total of £89,796.35 to support the next generation of the rail workforce.
This includes 20% of all revenue generated by UKRIA, to go to the new UK Rail Industry Training Trust (UKRITT). The charity is running a series of regional competitions, Gen Y Rail, to help promote careers in rail to 11-19 year olds, culminating in a national final this summer.
The first Gen Y Rail event took place last Thursday in Newcastle.
At UKRIA, which was held in The Brewery in London, Network Rail’s chairman Richard Parry-Jones gave a keynote speech, calling for more weather resilience, climate change planning, and higher R&D budgets in rail.
He praised UKRIA as a fantastic showcase for industry, and said: "I think it says something about the industry that there's such an appetite for an event like this, seeing so many distinguished guests here supporting the event, and to see the quite exceptional level of entries."
Parry-Jones discussed the "unparalleled" investment plans for the railway, including HS2. He went on: "By 2040 our railway will look very different, physically and technically. The services we offer to the travelling public will also be transformed. To make all that happen, we need a constant flow of skilled, highly-motivated people coming into our industry here in the UK. This promise of the future helps us to attract new blood into the industry, which will be so essential to our future success.
"In other words, if the investment we expect over that timeframe is all to be delivered, we absolutely need to expand the skills base, and to encourage more young people to join the excitement of this industry. I'm pleased to say that the evidence is here this evening that the industry really recognises this and is investing in solving that problem."
Transport minister Stephen Hammond MP also highlighted the importance of engaging more young people in the industry in a video message for the awards.
Networking continued into the early hours, with a charity casino and entertainment from mind reader and magician Alex Crow.
A pan-industry panel of judges chose 22 winners for their commitment to the rail industry.They were:
Apprenticeship Development: Network Rail
Collaborative Working: Network Rail IP
Corporate Social Responsibility: Linbrooke Service
Cost Base Reduction: Concrete Canvas Ltd
Electrification: Network Rail and the Rail Industry Association – REDP
Environmental & Sustainability: CrossCountry
Lifetime Achievement: Alan Runacres
Mobile Technology: CrossCountry
Outstanding Projects Large (over £20m): Network Rail
Medium (£3m-£20m): ScotRail
Small (under £3m): L Lynch Plant Hire & Haulage
Passenger Safety Award: Barnbrook Systems Ltd
Rail Asset Security: Amey plc
Rail Freight Excellence: Atkins, Network Rail and Balfour Beatty
Recruitment: Amey plc
Signalling and Telecommunications: ScotRail
Social Media: SoDash
Training & Development: Mott MacDonald
Workforce Safety: Mitie Total Security Management
Young Rail Professional Female: Charlotte Mace
Male: Toufic Machnouk
You can read more details about the winning entries, and about the other shortlisted entries, here.
For a full review of the night, including interviews with the winners, see the Feb/March edition of Rail Technology Magazine.
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