The 4th edition of the World Congress on Rail Training jointly organised by UIC, the International Union of Railways, Deutsche Bahn Training, Learning & Consulting, SNCF and FS took place from 5 – 7 April 2017 at DB AG/DB Akademie facility (UNESCO World Heritage Kaiserbahnhof) in Potsdam, Germany. The congress brought together 180 participants from 34 different countries.
Organised every two years at the initiative of the UIC Expertise Development Platform (EDP), which draws its expertise from the regional Rail Training Centres’ Networks, the World Congresses on Rail Training main purpose is to enhance workforce development through sharing best practice in rail training across the entire industry.
Mr Jean-Pierre Loubinoux, UIC Director-General, Mrs Ursula Schütze-Kreilkamp, DB Mobility Logistics AG’s Head of Personnel Development, and Mrs Esther Marconi, Chairwoman of UIC Expertise Development Platform, opened the Congress.
Jean-Pierre Loubinoux welcomed all participants and said “The WCRT congresses are important events for decision-makers in rail training and human resources, as well as for the railway community in general. […] We need innovation, thus intelligence, and this comes from the workforce, the younger generation, the universities and from the start-up ecosystem that will bring the creativity and reactivity the railway sector needs. […] Therefore, one of UIC’s main activities is to support its members with this issue, namely via the Railway Talent project, and the development of the portfolio of online training courses”.
Ursula Schütze-Kreilkamp insisted on the need for all railway-related stakeholders to unite their efforts “[…], to bring together as many people as possible, make them excited about training and rail, we have to find what’s best for all. At the end of the day, the most important thing is to move forward together.”
Finally, Esther Marconi highlighted that “we are living at the peak of globalisation, and […] we are going through a hazy time, with incredibly fast evolution. […] Fortunately, due to technology progress, the mobility industries, specifically the railway ones, expect employment growth. In this framework, training, as a facilitator of Human Resources Development, is of vital importance”.
Over the two and a half days, the participants had the opportunity to attend different plenary sessions and workshops, covering a wide range of topical issues, inter alia:
- Demographic challenge: how to attract & motivate new generations but also how to keep the older workers healthy and engaged at work
- Transfer of competencies and knowledge
- New approaches to leadership in a complex world
- Innovation & design thinking
- New Learning solutions and business excellence
- Safety & security training
- Cooperation between academia and rail industry
- Digital skills
The congress was also the occasion to present the results of UIC Expertise Development Platform’s (EDP) three current project groups, as well as explore new potential projects and partnerships.
Interest was expressed in continuing cooperation around the following topics:
- Trainer development project (trainer profile in the future). A workshop dedicated to full dissemination of project deliverables will be organised in the frame of next EDP meeting, on 26-27 October, Italy.
- GRTMS project. The need for a UIC basic GRTMS training course was confirmed by the workshops’ attendees. UIC is a neutral trusted party and the course should address new developments in GRTMS, as well as target all parties involved in GRTMS.
- Simulation training. After presentation of phase 1 of the project, the workshop’s participants validated the idea of “building a community of users”.
In addition, a new project group dedicated to “Digital skills passport” will be set up.
The organisation of a social programme which kept conference participants busy throughout the three days favoured numerous networking opportunities.