A report on the FHWA/AASHTO
international scan of workforce development, titled "European Practices in
Transportation Workforce Development" has been released that explores the
transportation workforce practices of four European countries. A team of 10
federal and state transportation executives, and representatives from the
academic community traveled to Sweden, Germany, France and Great Britain. The
team met with 53 government and transportation officials to identify innovative
practices for recruiting, developing and retaining qualified transportation
workers. The report includes some very interesting perspectives on how these
countries develop and train their transportation workforce.
Not surprisingly, these European
countries face some of the same issue as the United States, but in many cases
their solutions are very different. In Europe, like the United States, the
"baby boomers" have peaked and are now poised to leave the workforce.
The emerging workforce is more mobile and less hesitant to move to a new job.
Workers are more focused on their own development, versus traditional loyalty
to an employer.
These countries have also been more
focused on transportation education at the high school and undergraduate level
to assure a "pipeline" of transportation workers. Germany has a very
strong apprenticeship program that is developed cooperatively between the
private sector and the school systems. Sweden provides college students in a
variety of majors with small scholarships to write their "senior
projects" around transportation topics. In Great Britain there also
appears to be a closer working relationship between the public and private
sectors in training and recruiting workers and technicians.
A copy of the full report may be
obtained from the Office of International Programs, Federal Highway
Administration, Room 3325, U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC
20590. e-mail address: email@example.com, web address:
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