Job Opportunity: Policy Manager

The Railway Industry Association is looking for a Policy Manager to work on the key priorities facing RIA Members and the rail supply sector, more widely. These include opportunities presented by the Government Build Back Better, levelling up and skills and zero carbon agendas. They will need to work flexibly, at pace with key stakeholders including Government, Parliament, and rail client bodies (eg Network Rail, HS2 Ltd and Transport for London). This role would suit someone with a policy background in rail, Government or public affairs. Although knowledge of the rail sector is an advantage, applications from other related discipline will be considered.

Background to RIA

RIA is the trade association for UK-based suppliers to the UK and world-wide railways. It has over 300 companies in membership covering all aspects of rolling stock and infrastructure supply and covering a diverse range of products and services. As well as most of the larger, multi-national companies, 60% of RIA’s membership base is comprised of SMEs.  

The Oxford Economics 2018 Report shows that the UK rail sector contributes annually over £36bn Gross Value Added (GVA) to the UK economy, employs some 600,000 people and generates £11bn in tax revenues. For every £1 spent on rail, £2.20 of income is generated in the wider economy, meaning rail is not just an important sector in its own right, but it is also crucial for UK plc, its economy and connectivity. Rail has been a growing industry with the number of rail journeys expected to double in the next 25 years, along with significant growth in rail freight traffic, regardless of shocks such as the present Coronavirus crisis. 

RIA provides its members with extensive services, including:

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

RIA has a small creative and highly flexible team – the Chief Executive is supported by five Directors leading on Policy, Public Affairs & PR, Technical & Innovation, Exports, and Operations respectively. There is a strong team culture – playing to individual strengths, working at pace in support of RIA member company interests and continuously striving to learn and improve our offer.

Job description 

We are seeking to recruit a Policy Manager to work closely with the Policy Director and support the needs of RIA member companies, with a particular focus on supporting and maximising the impact of our policy work. 

RIA’s chief responsibilities are to represent the interests of its members to Government, including Ministers, Parliament (including Select Committees), the key rail clients, for example Network Rail, Transport for London, HS2 Ltd and Crossrail, and other stakeholders, and to work closely on policy and strategic issues. 

Some of the strategic issues addressed within the policy portfolio include the development of visible and reliable workload pipelines; major project delivery; the promotion of a collaborative industry culture; the promotion of an appropriate procurement strategy and, in conjunction with the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR), and other partners, the promotion and development of rail sector skills and diversity. Developing an expertise in Brexit and EU Transition related trade issues will also be an increasingly important part of this role.

Responsibilities of the Policy Manager 

  • Working with, and in consultation with, the Policy Director, the main duties will include, but not be restricted to:
  • Drafting policy papers, some of which may involve primary research or commissioning external research
  • Preparing initial drafts and/or canvassing input from members and others as necessary for responses to various industry consultations – eg from ORR, DfT, BEIS etc.
  • Representing RIA at external events, such as meetings with the Department for Transport and Network Rail advocating on RIA’s behalf. 
  • Coordinating the programme of RIA Strategic Interest Groups (SIGs) programme, working with the Policy and Events Executives, helping to set agendas, provide speakers; promote meetings; produce meeting notes and circulate other outputs; areas covered by SIGs include policy, SMEs (Small & Medium Sized Enterprises), Infrastructure and Train Clients, and Consultants.  
  • Assisting RIA develop its regional presence.
  • Assisting RIA on its Brexit / post EU Transition related work.
  • Working with the Policy Director to develop a forward strategic vision and programme for RIA policy activity.

This post reports to the RIA Policy Director and is London-based. The work will involve some travel within the UK, as well as potentially some EU travel.  

The salary and level of responsibility will be commensurate with the skills and experience of the person appointed. This post would suit an individual with relevant experience and or background with potential to learn and develop in role. The appointed individual would be expected to lead on key areas of RIA policy, for example on trade policy, and key relationships including aspects of the events programme, with the support of the Policy Director and other RIA team members.  

Skills and experience

The post-holder will be expected to demonstrate the following behaviours and skills:

  • Team: Flexible team player and supportive colleague.  Interest in learning and developing together to maximise the collective strength of the team. 
  • Pace: Relevant current experience in a fast-moving policy background.  Strong organisational skills – ability to prioritise and deliver at pace.
  • Events: a key part of the role will be to help expedite successful Policy related events, including securing speakers, developing agendas, and ensuring that pre, on-the-day, and post event actions, are expedited professionally and seamlessly.
  • Communication and influencing:  Strong written and oral communication skills and the ability to develop collaborative relationships and command the support and respect of senior stakeholders. Effective use of appropriate IT systems and social media.
  • Strategic thinking:  politically aware, creative thinker with an interest in developing an understanding of the rail system in order to make a positive difference.  Ability to analyse and accurately interpret data from various sources to inform and challenge policy positions. 

The post-holder would also be expected to have, or demonstrate the aptitude to very quickly develop:

  • A good working knowledge of the rail industry and an understanding of the dynamics between its various parts eg Government, Regulator, clients, & suppliers and the sensitivities/tensions between them. 
  • Knowledge of trade policy. 
  • This post might suit an economist or statistician looking to work in a policy environment. 


If you wish to be considered for the post, or want to find out more information about the role, please email or call the Policy Director, Kate Jennings at or 0777 1944 135.

Please enclose your CV, a statement explaining how your skills and experience are relevant to the job specification above, the length of your current notice period, and details of your current package. 

Equality, diversity and Inclusion: RIA is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from people from all backgrounds and characteristics.


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