Balfour Beatty, the international infrastructure group, welcomed Transport Secretary, Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, to its Rail Innovation Hub on the outskirts of Derby today to showcase its innovative solutions to enhancing travel efficiency and passenger experience in the rail industry.
Balfour Beatty’s Rail Innovation Hub, utilising a 100 strong workforce of industry technical experts and engineers, carries out dedicated research, development and testing to help develop the latest, ground-breaking approaches to working practices on the rail network, across the UK and overseas.
Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said: “The East Midlands has a strong tradition of train-building going back nearly 200 years so it is very exciting to be here today to see the excellent innovation and technology and meet the young engineers of the future forging cutting-edge careers that today’s rail industry can offer.
“We want to create 30,000 new apprenticeships by 2020 to deliver a highly skilled, diverse and flexible workforce capable of leading the drive to make Britain a major player in the global rail industry. This will lead to growth and increased prosperity not just in this region but also for the UK economy as a whole”.
While touring the hub, the Transport Secretary was given a demonstration of the company’s High Speed Measurement Systems and its Automated Inspection and Monitoring System. Both applications, used on passenger trains, enables track maintenance to take place at high speed, significantly reducing maintenance costs and allowing more frequent measurement of equipment and early fault detection.
Mick Rayner, Acting Managing Director, Balfour Beatty Rail, said: “We continue to invest significantly in enhancing our rail capability, through up-skilling our workforce and developing innovations that will take the industry and the rail network in to the future. Our innovation hub is further proof of the strength and breadth of our multi-disciplinary offer. Through our in-house research and development team we provide our clients with vital tools to implement software and systems to ensure improved performance and efficiency, increased safety and enhanced maintenance planning.”
The Transport Secretary also met with Balfour Beatty apprentices and graduates to discuss the training schemes available at the company which is a founding member of The 5% Club, a UK employer-led initiative focused on creating momentum behind the recruitment of apprentices and graduates into the workforce.
All non-media related enquiries should be directed to +44 (0)20 7216 6800 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
• Balfour Beatty is one of the UK’s leading rail infrastructure suppliers. From feasibility studies, planning and design through to implementation and asset management, we provide multi-disciplinary rail infrastructure services across the lifecycle of rail assets. Our expertise covers electrification, track, power, civils, specialist rail plant, railway systems and technologies.
• Balfour Beatty’s current portfolio of rail projects includes the £170m Track Partnership contract for London Underground, £130m Crossrail’s Abbey Wood station, £110m Crossrail Whitechapel station, £50m track remodelling of London Bridge and the £70m Crossrail station at Woolwich.
• Balfour Beatty is a member of ‘The 5% Club’, (www.5percentclub.org.uk), a UK industry-led initiative focused on creating momentum behind the recruitment of apprentices and graduates into the workforce.
• Chief Executive Leo Quinn was the founding member of the 5% Club. Balfour Beatty joined in December 2013, the first company in the infrastructure industry to join. The Company is committed to ensuring that, within five years of joining, at least 5% of its workforce consists of Apprentices, Graduates and Sponsored Students.
• Currently, 4.6% of Balfour Beatty’s population is made up Apprentices, Graduates and Sponsored Students. This equates to 270 Apprentices and 180 Graduates working and training at Balfour Beatty. Each year around 150 additional Apprentices and 120 additional Graduates are recruited across the UK.
• Balfour Beatty offers Graduates the opportunity to be part of either a technical or business graduate scheme. The two structured schemes focus on a variety of topics such as building and construction management, engineering, quantity surveying and commercial management, health and safety, transport planning and the environment, HR, IT, Marketing, general management and finance.