Stephen Morgan MP joined Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen, Darren Paffey, at Northam Traincare Facility, to learn more about the service provided by Siemens Mobility and South Western Railways to deliver safe rail services and benefits to the local community.
The depot, located in Southampton, provides service and maintenance for the Siemens Mobility fleet of South Western trains. The traincare facility was opened in 2003 and was the first of eight Siemens purpose-built rail depots that are now in the UK.
The City MP and PPC Darren Paffey toured the facility and learnt more about the hard work that goes into ensuring that our trains are safe, clean, well maintained and comfortable for rail passengers.
The visit also focused on the contribution of the depot to the skills of the local community, through its apprenticeship offering to train local engineers and creation of employment opportunities for local people.
Mr Morgan said the traincare facility provides an example of the huge potential offered by businesses to their local communities, if provided with a supportive policy environment by Government.
Learning opportunities have been stripped away since 2010, with almost four million fewer adults taking part in learning. Apprenticeship starts have fallen by almost 200,000 over the last decade while almost 3 in 10 young people are leaving education without qualifications that are key to getting on in the modern economy.
Mr Morgan previously backed Labour’s plans to reform the failed Apprenticeships Levy to a Growth & Skills Levy to give greater flexibility to employers on how they deliver the training they need, allowing up to half the money to be spent on specified training other than full apprenticeships.
Labour will devolve skills and training and adult education budgets to combined authorities so that the right decisions for our cities and regions can be taken in the right places.
Commenting following the visit, Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan said:
”Staff at depots do hugely valuable work making sure the right people are in the right places at the right time, or by keeping trains safe and clean for customers.
“It was a pleasure to meet the team from Siemens Mobility and South Western Railways to learn more about the vital work they do and the important contributions they make to Southampton’s community.
“Under a Labour Government, this contribution will be even greater, with plans to devolve skills spending to local governments to enable them to engineer opportunities to boost opportunities and growth within their local communities.”
Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Southampton Itchen, Darren Paffey said:
“People often take the running of trains for granted, but seeing Northam depot in action underlined how important their work is in keeping trains safe and ready to go.
“My dad worked on the railways for many years, and I appreciated meeting such skilled and dedicated engineers on site.
“If elected, I will work hard to increase the opportunities in Southampton for people to get skills and training in companies like Siemens Mobility and South Western Railways.”