Tuesday 19 March 2019

SKILLFUL Project 5th Plenary Meeting

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The transport sector employs over 10 million people in the EU today. At the same time, transport is a social sector that is rapidly developing, changing and being influenced to the maximum extent by the development of automation, electrification and greening of transport, among others, thus facing problems in staffing its several domains with appropriate and qualified personnel. This fact makes the need for changes in training and education content, curricula, tools and methodologies absolutely imperative, incorporating lifelong learning aspects for the professionals in all transport areas.

As already reported in previous articles, the SKILLFUL project (skills and competencies development of future transportation professionals at all levels) is a 36-month H2020 project started on 1 October 2016.

The consortium led by CERTH (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas) for technical coordination (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas) and FEHRL for administrative coordination totals a partnership of 21 partners, including UIC as well as four third parties.

The SKILLFUL project’s aims are threefold:

1. Critically review the existing, emerging and future knowledge and skills requirements of workers at all levels in the transportation sector, with emphasis on competencies required by important game changers and paradigm shifters (such as electrification and greening of transport, automation, MaaS, etc.)
2. Structure the key specifications and components of the curricula and training courses that will be needed to meet these competence requirements optimally, with emphasis on multidisciplinary education and training programmes
3. Identify and propose new business roles in the education and training chain, in particular those of “knowledge aggregator”, “training certifier” and “training promoter”, in order to achieve European-wide competence development and take-up in a sustainable way

Among the key project achievements are the identification of future driving forces, the identification of future skills and competencies and the design of courses.

Objective: identify the key technological and business future trends in the transport sector with respect to changing environmental and social conditions and to assess their potential impact on job skills and competencies requirements, as well as on the employability of the various transportation related professions.

The most important key paradigm shifters and game changers of Europe’s transport ecosystem have been investigated and analysed, in order to obtain even more insight into emerging systems timeline and functionalities. The feedback from the experts provided the necessary elements for prioritisation, while the information from the literature review strengthened both the outcome. The prioritisation of the driving forces, in diminishing importance order, is the following:

  • Electrification
  • Digitalisation and connectivity
  • Autonomous & unmanned transport systems (from drones to road and rail automation and robots for logistic operations)
  • Feeling of safety and security
  • Multimodality, syncromodality
  • Interdisciplinarity in creating new solutions
  • Greening of transport
  • New transport vehicle types
  • Condition-based megacity traffic management multi-stakeholder systems. Global traceability for logistics optimisation
  • Globalisation of the economy
  • Novel infrastructure management and maintenance schemes.
  • Smoother travel through electronic visas (e-visas) and smart airports
  • Tube freight transport concepts
  • Impact of 3D printing on production location and logistics

28 priority schemes and future scenarios on prioritised skills and competencies have been identified, concerning the professions that are expected to be mostly affected by the present and future changes and developments of the European transport system (13 for jobs/positions to be changed or eliminated and 15 for jobs/positions to emerge). In more details, these future scenarios have been in the following four aspects:

  • The professions that are foreseen to be mostly affected
  • The main affective parameters to their developments (which trends are mostly going to affect them?)
  • The timeframe (when it is expected the change(s) to occur?)
  • Correlation to SKILLFUL Pilots (how SKILLFUL courses and pilots can contribute?)

Objective: Structure the key specifications and components of the curricula and training courses that will be needed to meet these competence requirements optimally, with emphasis on multidisciplinary education and training programmes.
34 courses were selected and designed, out of which 17 will be tested as pilot courses. These courses are divided per the following categories, namely:

  • Transport infrastructure operator training schemes – 7 courses (3 pilot courses);
  • Young scientist seminars – 1 course (1 pilot course)
  • Lifelong training schemes for low to middle-skilled segments of transport professionals – 10 courses (6 pilot courses)
  • Interdisciplinary thematic courses on key technologies, services and trends – 10 courses (4 pilot courses)
  • Towards a pan-European Transport master curriculum – 6 courses (3 pilot courses)

Detailed deliverables are available at www.skillfulproject.eu

For further information please contact Nathalie Amirault, Head of the UIC Expertise Development Unit:


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Fifth plenary meeting held from 7 – 8 March 2019 at University College Dublin