Report on the 3d WE-TRANSFORM workshop
A 3d Stakeholder Forum Workshop on "Impacts of digitalisation and automation on the transport workforce" that took place on the 15 June 2022 09:00 – 18:00 (CEST+1) in Transport and Telecommunication Institute (TSI) Riga (Latvia).
The EU H2020 project WE-TRANSFORM aims at creating a policy agenda to prepare for the digitalisation automation transition and the related transformation of the workforce in the transport sector. To do so, WE-TRANSFORM wants to establish an effective dialogue with all parties involved, including workers and employers across all transport modes, and leverage stakeholders’ knowledge and experiences in order to co-create an action-oriented agenda.
The project's first phase has focused on reviewing state-of-the-art literature and analysing initial stakeholders’ input regarding barriers created by digitalisation/automation, and its negative/positive impacts, on the workforce, related to skills and needs to facilitate the transition. This workshop marks the start of the second phase, focusing on the analysis of transport automation impacts on the workforce, and the following thematic areas will be used as a basis to start up discussions:
RESEARCH PROCESS AND TOOLS
WE-TRANSFORM stakeholders decided to gather the most prominent achievements, views, and thoughts of the local governments, private companies, and other WE-TRANSFORM stakeholders during the workshop sessions in Riga.
It is important to highlight, that the workshop aimed to make an overview of the current challenges of both authorities and the transportation workforce. Thus, to come up with the working solutions and recommendations to tackle the problems of all 8 Thematic areas:
- Governance of transition
- Common skills to develop between same-level workers in different sectors of the transport industry
- Minimisation of exclusion processes in the reskilling of the workforce
- Platforms for gig-workers: implications on jobs production
- The role of local and regional authorities
- Role of workers in Automated Public Transportation setting
- Regulations of transition in the view of collective bargaining
- Automation and sustainability
This is an exploratory study, to call attention to the relevance, and to encourage reflection and more work on this thematic area (i.e., it does not seek to provide an exhaustive study of the topic). The workshops took place in Riga, Latvia at the Transport and Telecommunication Institute (TSI), on 15 June 2022 and continued for approximately 2 hours each.
To collect qualitative data on perceptions, expectations, and opinions, we conducted a focus group offline, with 10 to 15 participants. Participants for these focus groups are recruited from local and regional authorities, NGOs, private-public companies, etc., from the different sectors.
The workshop outcomes will be combined with the focus group online discussions and formed into the knowledge brief, that will be publicly available and disseminated. Knowledge briefs outlining the outcomes of the workshop only are already available in the Publications
PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH
This part of the overview is highlighting the key points of the discussion, recommendations, and current issues of authorities, workers, citizens, and other stakeholders who are influenced by the automation and digitalisation processes:
- Transition time and the gap needs to be considered while implementing any innovation. There will always be a group of people with a different background, knowledge scarcity of ambiguity to the automation tool. Therefore, each transition will take a longer time to be accepted by the wider public
- Wider regulation, classification, and standardization of automative and digital tools need to be in place prior to the innovation introduction. Therefore, we can minimize the negative experience of the end-user and society, thus promoting the positive surplus of the innovation.
- Automation and digitalisation always is a benefit maximization tool which has to be promoted and properly presented to the wider audience as an advancement tool. Both workers and authorities have to be agile and flexible to fit into the new "logic" of automation.
- Cooperation and communication is a key valuable tool to minimise the transition period and maximize the positive benefit of automation/digitalisation. Intercommunication of people from different backgrounds with the Public and Private stakeholders leads to better engagement, understanding, and easier implementation of any automation, etc.
Specific insights will be progressively published on the project’s Knowledge base, to be found on the WE-TRANSFORM website in the coming months.
The 3d Stakeholder workshop in Riga helped a WE-TRANSFORM project to define the benefits and negatives in each of the Thematic areas. It will be, therefore, much easier now to clearly state our recommendations for the future regulation of the Transportation sector in the EU and, hopefully, in the world.
All thematic areas of knowledge exchange were finalised at the end of the day. Participants were able to express their views on the organisation, and opinions on the topics and define the most important highlights of the day. These sessions were also completed by the Deliverables overview and future tasks definition at the end Consortium meeting the next morning.
We would like to thank all participants for their active contributions to our project. We are looking forward to exploiting the results of this third productive stakeholder workshop.
And we will work hard to provide further insights for an even richer discussion during the dissemination process!