Midland Metro Alliance looks to develop local supplier network

Dozens of West Midlands companies are being offered the chance to help build a series of multi-million pound Metro tram extensions over the coming decade.
Firms and other contractors attending an event in Wolverhampton heard how the Midland Metro Alliance wants to see around 80 per cent of its suppliers to be from the West Midlands.
The Midland Metro Alliance, which is building six extensions on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), held a supplier day at the city’s Grand Station to give companies key information on the opportunities being generated by the new tram lines planned across the region.
Representatives from more than 85 organisations attended yesterday’s (Thursday May 18) event which was aimed at identifying cost savings and best value, innovation and projects such as Building Information Model development, upskilling and apprenticeship schemes.
The day provided an opportunity for the supplier network hear more about the extensions, local focus and the region’s Movement for Growth strategy, as well as to meet Midland Metro Alliance staff face- to-face to establish contact before the major work starts on the projects to ensure that companies involved have the skills and knowledge to best deliver the ten-year programme of tram extensions.
Alejandro Moreno, Midland Metro Alliance Director, said: “It is a privilege to be able to promote local supplier resources and to bring business and employment to local organisations. This not only enables us to deliver more sustainably, but it also allows us to give something more back to the region that we are looking to benefit with our highly integrated transport network.”
Phil Hewitt, Metro Programme Director added: “Making a success of these infrastructure schemes will benefit a number of local firms which will help to safeguard jobs as well as generating new ones.”
Alejandro Moreno said that the Alliance was committed to developing and retaining a local supply network as well as a local talent bank and had set up Sector Based Work Academies with local colleges to recruit and develop the best young talent. The training aims to give people the skills needed to fill apprenticeships and permanent positions within the transport sector.
A number of suppliers were also given an opportunity to showcase their industry innovations, including survey drones, ground penetrating radar, road scanning systems and the latest in safety technology. A virtual tram driving programme also offered people the chance to experience what it feels like to ‘be’ a tram driver.
Talent Match West Midlands, an organisation responsible for ensuring that young people are matched to skills development and employment opportunities were also on hand to explain how they provide mentoring, training and upskilling to young people across the region with the aim to encourage the supplier network to get involved supporting local young people.