Thursday 2 May 2024

The Talent and Expertise Development Platform (TEDP) holds its Spring Event

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The Talent Expertise Development Platform (TEDP) held its Spring Event in Vienna, Austria, on 17-18 April 2024 and was kindly hosted by the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB). The event brought together HR leaders and training professionals from UIC member companies, with this year focusing on critical strategies for attracting, training, and retaining talent within the railways.

Steering Committee and TEDP Working Group Meetings

Before the main event, TEDP held its Steering Committee meeting on 16 April. Chair Miguel Viana from Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP) opened the meeting and thanked the members and UIC team for the work to date. Discussions were centred around the major upcoming events and the platform’s development, with the working group chairs presenting the progress of the work programme to the Steering Committee.

The members committee agreed to launch registration for WCRT 2025 which will be held in the first half of the year in Chengdu, China. They also encouraged universities, engineering schools, and UIC members in all regions to participate in the 2nd edition of the hackathon.

In the afternoon, the working groups met. The following topics were dealt with:

  • Training Centres Network (TCN)
    Led by Alenka Dodig, Slovenian Railways (SZ), the TCN provided a status update on:
    • Future Rail: Adaptive Training for the Digital Age
    • Railsim: Exploring and Enhancing Railway Training Simulation
  • Railway Talent (RT)
    Chaired by Vito Pagliarisi, Italian State Railways (FS), a progress overview was given on:
    • Hackathon 2024-2025
    • RailTalent: Building an Online Community for Experts and Talent Exchanges
    • Mentoring and Coaching Programme
  • Education, Innovation, and Research (EIR)
    Led by Arpad Domjan, Deutsche Bahn (DB), the current status of the following research projects was summarised:
    • Education: In Search of Effective and Appreciated Self-Study Methods
    • Innovation: Railway Competences of the Future - How Digitalisation, AI, and LXP are Changing the Learning of Tomorrow
    • Research: Can the Safety and Business Performance of Train Drivers be Improved Through the Use of Risk-Triggered Commentary?

New members were welcomed, with them having the opportunity to share their insight, which proved to enrich the discussions and help to advance future TEDP initiatives.
These working groups provide a platform for continued collaboration and knowledge exchange, shaping the future of rail talent development.

Talent Acquisition & Retention Workshop: sharing knowledge and best practices

On 17 April, Viana and Dr Ursula Bazant, ÖBB Head of the Education and Training Department, welcomed everyone and opened the Spring Event, which began with a Talent Acquisition & Retention Workshop.

Dr Bazant then provided further information on the two technical visits over the two days and detailed a talent development strategy with apprenticeships. Experiences, strategies and challenges on the talent management practices in various companies were shared by:

  • Christine Marie Moore, Human Resources Advisor at ÖBB
  • Barbara Grau, Head of European and International HR Affairs at SNCF
  • Pagliarisi, in his role as Head of International Training, Development and Compensation, and Marta Francesconi, International HR Specialist at FS

Meryem Belhaj-Clot, Deputy HR Director and Head of HR Development, and Yuke Li, Junior Advisor for HR Development & International Training, gave a presentation on the UIC 2025 Opt-in Project “Recognition for Acquisition and Retention of Employees (RARE)”. The project will provide a comprehensive framework and tool for identifying, recognising, and making employee skills visible and actionable.

Technical visits to ÖBB’s training facilities on 17 and 18 April

Dr Bazant and Soma Ahmad led participants on tours of ÖBB’s state-of-the-art training facilities, including the ÖBB Education Campus at St. Pölten in the afternoon of 17 April, and the ÖBB Training Workshop in Vienna on 18 April.

These visits showcased ÖBB’s innovative approach to employee development, including their long-standing apprenticeship system, commitment to gender equality and diversity, and robust talent management practices.

  • Learning from a long-standing apprenticeship system
    Participants were able to observe how apprentices seamlessly integrate theory with practical application, potentially sparking ideas for implementing similar programmes or enhancing existing ones within their own organisations.
  • Witnessing a commitment to diversity and inclusion
    ÖBB is dedicated to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. Their commitment translates into a training environment that caters to a variety of learning styles and backgrounds. The participants were inspired to implement similar practices to create a more welcoming and effective learning environment for their own employees.

Fostering collaboration and building a stronger railway future: concluding the TEDP Spring Meeting

In the afternoon of 18 April, the event finished with Dr Bazant explaining how ÖBB’s talent management strategies work. The participants saw ÖBB’s process for identifying high-potential candidates, cultivating their skills throughout their careers, and fostering continued professional development. This insight aimed to help the participants refine their own talent management approaches. The TEDP Spring Meeting included networking opportunities throughout the sessions, creating a vibrant space for collaboration and knowledge exchange, advancing the shared purpose of empowering organisations to build a skilled and engaged railway workforce.

Finally, Belhaj-Clot thanked the attendees and invited them to a round-table discussion, where their appreciation for the event was expressed and shared key takeaways were detailed. Here, the working group chairs also presented their discussions from 16 April and encouraged continued participation in the TEDP’s activities. Viana, in his role as TEDP Chair, then concluded the event, thanking Dr Bazant and the ÖBB team for their instrumental role in the spring meeting’s success.

For further information, please contact Meryem Belhaj-Clot, Deputy HR Director and Head of HR Development at:

or Yuke Li at

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