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Development Project for Railway Signalling Engineering trainers
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Feb 28, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

A study sponsored by the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP) identified a range of specific emerging challenges to the Vocational Education Training (VET) sector in general (Volmari, Helakorpi & Frimodt, 2009). These include the increase in administrative tasks and responsibilities, the individualisation of learning, supporting learner autonomy, the significance of networking and the expansion of responsibilities relating to quality assurance. It particularly noted the increased administrative burden taking time. Prompted by the CEDEFOP study, the UIC (World body of Railways) started an active research stream and one of the programs centres on the development of Railway trainers. Based on literature research and a benchmark within Railway Training organisations it was recommended to develop a European behavioural competency framework for trainers and developers, make use of appropriate (new) training technologies, develop the initial and continuous development qualifications for trainers and exploiting 'best practices' in and between Railway training organisations. The development of skills and competences of vocational Signalling trainers working in Railway Training organisations is main priority in this project. In October 2014 the UIC Expertise Development Platform (EDP) started a pilot exchange program with vocational Signalling Engineering trainers from five Railway Training organisations in Europe: Belgium, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and United Kingdom. The target group selected by the EDP are Signalling Engineering trainers and developers, giving vocational training mainly to workers in the field of Signalling in Railway Infrastructure. From the five participating organisations eleven trainers are participant in the working group, completed with two facilitators from the coordinating organisation. The trainers themselves are part of the development of new approaches in technology (technical and in learning), exchange of expertise and the delivery of tangible products and ‘good practices’. The project characterises itself as learning by doing and working as action learning group of vocational trainers from similar organisations in Europe. Together the group works on the delivery of a competence framework for trainers/developers, an initial development program for new trainers, a guideline with learning activities for the continuous development, a template for the exchange between vocational trainers and a paper with results from the project. Main methodology applied in the project are transnational meetings for Signalling EngineeringTrainers, twice a year and in between the life meetings the use of Trainweb (digital communication platform) as discussion and learning platform. Collection of materials and work done by partner organisations are collected and spread to all partners. Most impact of the project is expected on local level, at the individual Railway Training organisations. The disired impact is that the quality of VET increases at these orgaisations, because best practices in training methodologies, trainer development and new training technologies are shared and implemented. At regional and national level the desired impact is that more groups than the pilot group will adapt the way of working and exchange best practices to improve VET in Railway Training organisations. At (European) international level the impact desired is that the quality of VET (in the Railway sector) will increase.That higher levels of excellence and attractiveness will increase opportunities for workers and trainers in the Railway sector. Combined with increased cross-border cooperation and use of technological innovation this will have impact on working together to improve VET in Europe.

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