WE-TRANSFORM stakeholders define pathways to a desirable future for transport workers
Given the uncertainty surrounding transport digitalisation and automation, and the diverse workforce needs and requirements, it is essential to uncover and explore factors that affect those needs, through a cross-national and cross-modal approach. This approach will shape the transport workforce transformation, in synergy with the transport digitalisation and automation processes.
Using the outcomes of previous WE-TRANSFORM research (such as existing initiatives to support workers' transition in other sectors, main trends in the transport sector, synthesis of impacts on workers, legal consequences), concerned stakeholders were called to share their views on the workforce future in transport. These views help define long and short-term objectives, and apply the back-casting method to define key steps towards these objectives. Most important is the identification of potential difficulties and required resources to overcome them.
To facilitate exchange, WE-TRANSFORM partners organised a series of focus groups at national level, bringing together stakeholders from all transport modes and sectors. These focus groups worked on the development and the evaluation of scenarios enabling the workforce to effectively meet the challenges of transport digitalisation and automation in the future.
Two rounds of focus group meetings took place:
- In the first round, participants were asked to propose ideas and approaches for the future of transport workers and potential scenarii to prepare for it, before they were introduced to proposals developed by the WE-TRANSFORM partners. They encouraged to provide their opinion and feedback on these, to feed the first draft scenarios.
- In the second round, the final draft scenarios were presented, giving stakeholders the possibility to assess them and contribute to their final version.
In total, nine focus groups were organised in six countries; 23 stakeholders participated in the first round and 47 in the second round. The details of the focus groups are provided in the following table.
Nb of participants
Stakeholders who participated in these focus groups were active actors of the transport industry, contributing to shipping activities, aviation, public transport both on roads and railways, and highway operators. They were selected based on their experience and role (senior management), to ensure their perspective for workers' future relies on concrete insights and supports comprehensive pathways and strategies.
The stakeholders that participated in the 1st round of the focus groups were asked first to present their views and experiences as regards possible difficulties that the workers encounter due to the introduction of digitalisation and automation in the transport companies they represent, but also to make an outline of the wider landscape of technology effects in the workforce. This input enriched significantly the baseline analysis performed by the project partners. It led to a short number of interrelated and composite factors (so-called drivers) that characterize the current situation and pose serious aspects that influence the future of the workforce in the transport automation era.
Then, the stakeholders were asked to provide their views and suggestions concerning the goals that should be achieved in the future. Based on their feedback, the analysis concluded in five major goals that compose the desired future.
Finally, the stakeholders proposed the policy measures (and packages) that should be implemented in the future in order to reach the predefined goals. Based on this work, the WE-TRANSFORM partners developed the scenarios (pathways).
The stakeholders that participated in the 2nd round of the focus group meetings were asked to validate and possible modify the scenarios, and also assess their implementation feasibility. This work led to the final scenarios.