JARROW MP Stephen Hepburn got on track for a major train contract set to create 300 jobs in South Tyneside.
Mr Hepburn met workers and management when he visited the Siemens plant, in North Farm Road, Hebburn, which will produce hi-tech components as part of the massive £6.5bn Thameslink project.
He said: “I am delighted to see this inward investment into the Jarrow constituency.
“This contract has created 300 jobs for Siemens, and I’m thrilled for the Hebburn plant and the local area.
“Just as importantly, I’m extremely pleased that Siemens is creating proper apprenticeships, with young workers learning on the job, just as they did in the past.
“All in all, this contract is a big plus for South Tyneside.”
The Hebburn plant saw off fierce competition from across the country to secure the landmark contract, which will spark a recruitment drive in the next few months.
As part of the Government-backed Thameslink Programme, which will create a further 6,000 jobs as it transforms north-south travel through London, the Hebburn plant will initially manufacture cable harnesses.
It will then make by drivers’ instruments and control desks, plus electrical cabinets, ceiling containers and coupler boxes, all to be made at the borough works over the next four years.
A revamp of shopfloor facilities at the Hebburn plant has taken place in readiness for the start of the Thameslink components contract. Once completed, the Hebburn-made components will be transported to Germany, where the trains are being assembled.
Meanwhile, Siemens will generate up to 2,000 jobs across the UK as part of the Thameslink rolling stock project in component manufacturing.
Des Young, asset services director at Siemens in Hebburn, said: “I was delighted to welcome Mr Hepburn to the Siemens site in Hebburn.
“Since his visit last year, he saw the great work which has taken place in readiness for the Thameslink start of production.
“The Thameslink Rolling Stock Programme will create up to 300 jobs, which is very good news for our region, and we are looking forward to demonstrating the investment we have made in our facility.
“He also had the opportunity to meet some of our employees who are working on this prestigious contract.”