New contract must provide jobs & apprenticeships in the region, says MP
Dudley MP Ian Austin has welcomed plans to invest £1 billion in rail services in the West Midlands but says the new trains should be made in the Midlands.
The Department for Transport has just awarded the West Midlands rail franchise to West Midlands Trains Ltd, a joint venture of Abellio, Japan East Railway Company, and Mitsui & Co Ltd.
The company is promising to spend nearly £1 billion on new trains, carriages, station improvements, more frequent services and 900 apprenticeships but Austin wants companies and young people in the Midlands to benefit from the investment.
He is writing to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling and has asked to meet the new operators to seek assurances that the extra investment will support businesses and boost employment and skills in the Midlands.
Ian Austin said
"It's great news that £1 billion will be spent improving trains and increasing services for people in the West Midlands. This is a great opportunity for businesses and I want to see this investment creating jobs and boosting skills in the Midlands too.
"The new trains and carriages should be made here in the Midlands, parts sourced from manufacturers here and I want to see youngsters in the Midlands benefit from the 900 apprenticeships so they can get skills in engineering, construction and other technical areas too.
"The government and the Mayor should be insisting that money spent on public services in the Midlands supports businesses in the Midlands and create jobs in the Midlands."