Transport workforce transition: Action!
WE-TRANSFORM aims to apply a participatory approach, using Collective Intelligence (CI), to generate an evidence-based and action-oriented agenda to tackle the challenges the increasing automation in the transport sector places on labour force. This agenda will be targetted to politicians from all levels - from European policy-makers to national authorities and local mayors and advisors.
Each of them has some of the legal powers, skills, and capacity, which are required to properly seize opportunities for transport workers, and mitigate challenges workers face with transport services automation and digitalisation!
Therefore, engegament is necessary at each level. In addition to the wide diversity of sectors and stakeholder types gathered in the Stakeholder Forum workshops, the WE-TRANSFORM partners also involved different authority levels. Representatives of the European Commission joined our last workshop in Brussels, while the mobility department of the city of Riga took part in our previous workshop happening in their city. The Austrian Federal Transport Ministry also joined our Latvian workshop, though remotely, and greatly contributed to the discussions, especially on the topic of local and regional competences for workforce issues.
SO: How do we move from raising awareness and identifying challenges to taking action?
The transition from issue to action is the main task of our fifth Work Package: Formulation of the Action-oriented Agenda.
Foreseen to be implemented in the project's last months of activity, this work package started in December 2022. All involved partners were invited to a 2-days hybrid kick-off meeting, both in Torino and online.
The kick-off introduced this last and most important task for the project, with a presentation of the different steps planned to reach a final agenda which would really have an impact, both for the transport workers and the mobility services all citizens in Europe benefit from.
The work on the Agenda definition and preparation is divided in three main subtasks:
- , based on the reports issued by previous tasks, and the inputs from the Stakeholder Forum and the Living hub;
- , with reviews from the project's Advisory Board and key stakeholders as well as methods defined in the first project's task on methodology;
- for this agenda and the created Living Hub, assessing their value proposition as well as their uptake by targeted stakeholders, and exploring financing model options for their operation and maintenance.
Two outcomes are planned as a result of these subtasks:
- The Agenda to tackle the challenges of automation in the transport sector, itself
- The Roadmap for business model options and implementation
During the kick-off meeting, the insights from previous work were summarized, and the role of the upcoming stakeholder forum workshops in the agenda definition was clarified. In addition, methods defined in the beginning of the project selected specifically for the agenda definition work were explained.
The Thematic Areas defined at the end of year 1 support the structure of the agenda formulation. Further thematic areas might be investigated while some of the ones currently addressed might be deepened. Besides facilitating the identification of key topics, they support the organisation of focus groups making recommendations more concrete. Next to that, the Service Blueprint tool will be used to achieve a progressive and easy to implement agenda integrating inputs from the multiple and diverse WE-TRANSFORM stakeholders.
After the first formulation of the agenda planned for the summer 2023, Delphi rounds will be used in a validation process to obtain a consensus on a final version of this agenda by the Advisory Board members and Living Hub participants. The last Stakehodler Forum workshop in Torino in September 2023 will constitute a last milestone in this phase, and the Agenda to disseminate and exploit beyond the project lifetime will be ready by November 2023.
As for the sustainability plan development, it will start in Q2 2023. Led by LGI, this task builds on the platforms, dialogue, and community created over the course of the project, as well as on the agenda coming from the first task of the Work Package. Using external experts' interviews and internal small-sized breakout workshops, it will establish , focusing on ensuring an easy access and maintenance of the knowledge repository, seeking stakeholder commitment and buy-in as well as developing a business model to keep it sustainable.
WE-TRANSFORM partners participating in the internal workshops will exploit external experts' interviews to discuss business model options and possible governance models. The outcomes of the workshops should be a clear pathway to guarantee the project's legacy, an estimate of the budget required, and an understanding of funding schemes to start mobilising it.
After the December two days of kick-off (punctuated with a footbal world cup game), an internal workshop was organised in January 2023 with the partners from previous tasks analysing the transport workforce changes and dynamics. This joint workshop happening next to the fourth Stakeholder Forum workshop in Brussels enabled to clarify the connections between the two tasks, and to deepen the structure of the last step related to sustainability.
Based on inputs from this internal workshop, the next Stakeholder Forum workshop in Vienna is now in full speed preparation, while last steps from the previous tasks are being concluded. A few focus groups on scenarios for the upcoming workforce transition remain, as well as the submission of reports on the legal framework around this transition and on the perspectives of workers and managers.