Employability in the Railway Sector in the Light of Digitalisation and Automation

The European rail social partners, the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and the Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies (CER) are collaborating together to better understand current digital trends and their impact on employment in the railway sector.

The project will run for 18 months and begins in March 2020. Its aim is to address the impact of digitalisation on employment, working conditions, required tasks at work, as well as workers’ skills. The project also focuses on how social partners can shape technological changes through social dialogue. The rail social partners are ready to contribute to the upcoming political debate on the basis of an in-depth and EU-wide analysis of the issues.

With this project, we aim to achieve the following:

  • Review the CER-ETF Joint Recommendations on the concept of employability and decide on follow-up actions;
  • Map the drivers of change, especially digitalisation and automation which have an impact on employability;
  • Inform and advise rail companies and trade union representatives about existing good practices in the field of change management and employability, and just transition, with the objective to maintain attractive working conditions in the sector.

The project examines the following areas:

  • Digitalisation: new skills, tools and training methods for rail staff;
  • Internal measures to manage change;
  • Automation, digitalisation and new models of maintenance;
  • The role of social partners in anticipating and accompanying change stemming from digitalisation and the impact of change on employee-customer relations.

Each of these four areas will be addressed in a dedicated workshop gathering trade unions, employers as well as experts. The objective is to map and analyse the main domains affected by the changes that are relevant for employability, and the employers’ and employees’ needs on these topics. Furthermore, all workshops aim to identify and collect examples and good practices of how companies, employees and trade unions deal with these changes.