Often referred to as an Agent of Change, over the last few weeks Pauley has continued it’s global quest to reskill and upskill today’s and tomorrow’s workforce in its use of digital technology. What is evident is that the desire to upskill the UK’s rail workforce is not unique. All nations are seeking more efficient ways of meeting their railway obligations and driving greater productivity in the way they educate and train their workforce.
We have recently contributed to the largest rail conference and exhibition across the Middle East, North Africa, Indian Subcontinent and Central Asia – Middle East Rail.
We have supported the Rail Industry Association and the Rail Alliance, as well as the UK Government in the form of BEIS and DIT. We have joined high-level executives from all around the world for an event packed with inspiration, ideas and networking at the highest level. We sit on the brink of a new dawn in railway technology. Now, more than ever, disruptive forces are reshaping the competitive landscape. Middle East Rail brought together the biggest global innovators, futurists and gurus that have exploded onto the railway landscape in recent years to inspire you.
With more than 800 executives, from 89 countries, Middle East Rail has been critical to realising the disruptive ways in which government, state-owned rail companies and contractors plan, build, operate and maintain their regional rail networks.
Pauley is positioning itself at the forefront of the industry and working with companies overseeing $614bn worth of rail projects to demonstrate our commitment to the region.
HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman al Saud (MBS) took the leadership in the restructuring of Saudi Arabia’s economy, which he officially announced in April 2016 when he introduced Vision 2030, the country’s strategic orientation for the next 15 years.
The Saudi Vision 2030 is a plan to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.
MBS is just 32 years old. He is Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince and when he arrived in London a week prior to Middle East Rail on his first global tour since taking office, he was to be granted the reddest of red carpets. He attended lunch with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, and dinner with the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge at Clarence House as well as meeting the Prime Minister in No 10 Downing Street.
The Saudi’s are keen on UK Military and Cyber expertise to help them tackle an ever growing global threat. There is also a close defence relationship with Britain selling billions of pounds worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, on which Ministers highlight tens of thousands of highly skilled British jobs depend.
But this visit was not just a case of two allies refreshing their relationship.
The Crown Prince is looking for International support for his internal economic reforms while at the same time trying to offer reassurance to nervous International investors. And the British Government is keen to transform a security and defence relationship into one that includes broader economic ties.
Middle East Rail was officially opened by Dr Abdulla Belhaif Al Nuaimi, Minister of Infrastructure Development and Chairman, Federal Transport Authority, Land and Maritime. He was joined by HRH Prince Abdulaziz Bin Faizal Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and part of the next generation of Saudi Royalty empowered to embrace change.
“The UAE, thanks to its visionary leadership, is rapidly moving towards further developing a strong infrastructure in various fields. It has achieved tangible results in this effort and advanced positions in the Global Competitiveness Index, where it was ranked fourth in the quality of infrastructure,” Al Nuaimi said.
“We are keen to learn about international best practices and to benefit from international expertise, which we believe plays an important role in sustainable development, especially in the light of transformation towards an economy based on knowledge and innovation,” he added.
HRH Prince Abdulaziz expressed an interest to be given a demonstration of our augmented reality capability. Pauley, together with National Training Academy for Rail (NTAR) developed an integrated next generation real–time fault finding and communication system for London Underground (TfL) using Microsoft HoloLens. Suitably amazed, the Prince suggested that he would like to visit National College for High Speed Rail to see how this technology is being integrated into Apprenticeships and Rail Training in the UK.
Pauley will be playing its part in supporting the Prince when he visits the UK in April. As a result of meeting at Middle East Rail and as an indication of how quickly the region is embracing change, the Prince asked us to team up with a number of forward thinking organisations to develop a new Middle East transportation consultancy, Future Solutions Ltd. Andy Hammond, Managing Director of Future Solutions Ltd says “We are a leading partner for the rail & transport industry as well as a local management consultancy and a leading advisor on investment and business strategy in the region.”
Pauley fully supports the Saudi Vision 2030, through the embracement of new and innovative technology to train and upskill a global workforce. No longer can we continue with the ‘chalk and talk’ methodology – we must explore and implement modern, technology based methods to get the most value from our precious training time.
In addition, Pauley is fully supportive of the rail industry in its desire to be a part of the Industrial Strategy. The Government is working with industries in a number of sectors to reach agreements with business on ‘sector deals’. These deals will be many and varied in form, but are intended to be agreements that help each sector meet its key challenges and allow business to invest and grow accordingly. This is an important opportunity for the rail sector to champion the substantial contribution we make to the UK economy, and to push for the necessary support to drive forward the UK rail supply chain.
The Rail Supply Group (RSG), in partnership with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has been working with Government to develop an industry leading and transformative Rail Sector Deal proposal. The Sector Deal for rail can enable new businesses, collaborating with other complementary industrial sectors, to sell innovative products and services to rail in both the UK and export markets. It is an opportunity to transform our railway and enable the UK’s supply chain to become truly world-leading.
A successful proposal for the sector can be game-changing and transformative for Britain’s rail network, the markets, communities and customers it serves. By working together with the broader industry, the RSG and RDG are developing a proposal that has the potential to transform our railway and enable the UK’s supply chain to become truly world leading. We hope that our offer persuades the Government to prioritise the sector and help unlock its future potential.
At Pauley we absolutely ‘get’ the need to be collaborative. We don’t just talk about it either. We are active in both the export market in the Middle East, and Saudi 2030 vision in particular, and also with our involvement and innovation in the Industrial Strategy work through the RSG.
Progressing isn’t just about technology. It’s about making a change and talking to Pauley.