Job Opportunity: RIA North Business Engagement Manager

Deadline: 3 December 2021

The Railway Industry Association (RIA), the trade body for 300+ rail suppliers in the UK, is looking for a RIA North Business Engagement Manager to support the roll out of its offer in the North.

Main purpose of job: 

  • To help RIA roll out its Nations & Regions offer in the North in 2022, and support the RIA North Leadership Group when set up; 
  • To help RIA and its members build up knowledge of the North’s railway industry issues and opportunities or relevance to RIA members; and 
  • To work with the RIA team and RIA North’s public affairs consultant to help RIA engage with and influence key rail decision makers and influencers in the North of England, and promote RIA member needs. 

Reporting:  The RIA North Business Engagement Manager will report on a day-to-day basis to the RIA Director responsible, David Clarke, and will also be expected to provide quarterly reporting to the RIA Chief Executive and Board. 


The Railway Industry Association (RIA) is the voice of the UK rail supply community. We help to grow a sustainable, high-performing, railway supply industry, and to export UK rail expertise and products. RIA has 300+ companies in membership in a sector that contributes £43 billion in economic growth and £14 billion in tax revenue each year, as well as employing 710,000 people. RIA’s membership is active across the whole of railway supply, covering a diverse range of products and services and including both multi-national companies and SMEs (60% by number). 

Nationally RIA provides its members with extensive services, including: 

  • Representation of the supply industry’s interests to Government, Network Rail (NR), TfL, HS2, ORR, devolved transport administrations and other key stakeholders; 
  • Providing opportunities for dialogue and networking between members, including Special and Technical Interest Groups; 
  • Supply chain improvement initiatives, campaigning and lobbying; 
  • Provision of technical, commercial and political information every week; and 
  • Export promotional activity, through briefings, visits overseas, hosting inwards visits, organising UK presence at exhibitions overseas.  

RIA is progressively establishing Leadership Groups in the UK Nations & Regions as follows: 

  • RIA Scotland 
  • RIA North  
  • RIA Midlands & Eastern 
  • RIA London & South 
  • RIA Wales & Western 
  • RIA Northern Ireland  

The purpose of the RIA North Leadership Group will be to:  

  • Become a recognised rail supply industry authority in the North; 
  • Form and maintain a view on the priority issues for the rail supply chain in the North (noting RIA could not support a position which argued, for example, for reallocation of funding from one region/ nation to another);  
  • Advise RIA on how its programme of campaigns, public affairs, lobbying, groups and events can most effectively reflect the needs of RIA members and the wider supply chain, leveraging RIA’s UK activity as well as undertaking North-specific activity; 
  • Support constructive dialogue with relevant Northern, including but not limited to, bodies such as major rail clients, devolved government, Sub National Transport Bodies, Train Operators, etc; 
  • Where appropriate, work with the RIA team to develop thought leadership policy positions, White Papers, etc; and 
  • Where appropriate, work with members of the Leadership Group so that they can represent and advocate for the wider RIA membership and form an agreed view in discussions with clients and stakeholders at public events/ conferences, in press releases, social media, etc.  

 Role requirements: 

With devolution of rail decision making increasing across the UK it is important that RIA can represent its members interests and influence decisions and policies on both a national and regional basis. This role of RIA North Business Engagement Manager is to help build, develop and provide a strong Northern offering to RIA members, working with the full-time RIA team and the Leadership Group. 

The successful candidate will be seeking and be able to offer one to two days a week to carry out the role. S/he will have the experience and gravitas to work with senior industry leaders from suppliers, clients and other stakeholders in the North. Railway industry experience and contacts is desirable, as is an ability to understand and articulate the supplier perspective. 

It is expected the applicant will live and generally work in the North of England, and have strong communication skills as well as the self-reliance to work effectively with limited/ remote support. A good knowledge of the current affairs/ political landscape relating to rail would be an advantage, though the successful candidate would be able to draw on and work with RIA North's public affairs support.  

The successful candidate will be expected to travel to and attend meetings and events related to the role, including occasionally to RIA’s London HQ and potentially events elsewhere in the UK.  

Main duties/tasks - the BEM will work with RIA personnel to: 

  • Map local stakeholders (political, clients, others) where RIA needs to develop its Northern network, and represent RIA to build relationships with those stakeholders, being RIA’s day-to-day contact for these bodies; 
  • Ensure the RIA North organisational infrastructure is put in place, so that members and stakeholders can periodically get together in person; 
  • Devise and help deliver a Northern events schedule, to help RIA members have a better understanding of activity, rail work/plans and intelligence pertaining to the North of England, giving overall added value to members’ national membership offering; 
  • Ensure appropriate monitoring is in place, to ensure the RIA team and members are aware of salient issues and developments pertinent to the North of England; 
  • Generally keep abreast of rail issues and developments in the North and proactively suggest appropriate action; 
  • Help identify prospective RIA members to sit on the RIA North Leadership Group (with a Chair / Vice-Chair appointed, and role descriptions and profiles developed); 
  • Act as the Secretariat to and facilitator for the RIA North Leadership Group, taking notes, producing papers and progress-chasing action points; 
  • Contribute to RIA work on Northern related campaigns, public affairs, lobbying, White Papers, events, etc; and
  • Produce brief update reports on a quarterly basis for the Chief Executive and Board, ahead of the quarterly Board meetings in January, April, July, and October. 

Please send your CV and a cover letter to Technical Director David Clarke:

The Deadline for applications is 3 December 2021.

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