We've started preparations for another phase of the project, where we'll map out the possible career steps for professional truck and bus drivers.
The priority is, of course, to retain drivers with years of knowledge and experience gained through working in the road transport sector. Qualifications are one thing, but experience is entirely another.
Using results from stakeholder engagement combined with the curriculum and ongoing development of the learning programmes we're in a good position to start engaging with the industry to uncover opinions on how the profession should develop.
In the coming months we'll begin work to research statistical data, deliver surveys with drivers and managers and focus on the professional mobility of drivers to understand trends and forecasts with better accuracy, particularly with regard to the occupational profile of drivers who are new to the sector and drivers who've left the sector in recent times; if we know where they're transferring from and to it will give us better insight and ultimately help to produce more accurate information.
A key part of this process will be to identify existing initiatives, systems and qualifications in different countries aimed at promoting professional transition and retraining, particularly for drivers. This may involve investigating other sectors to find examples of good practice, but that's probably an advantage given the increasing opportunities for workers to transfer between sectors.
Understanding the vocational qualification profile is also essential otherwise the gaps in knowledge and skills needed for the future cannot be fully understood, so we'll be exploring different frameworks to pick out commonalities and innovation.
While we've already identified the likely scenarios for drivers to evolve into road pilots, customer managers and emergency responders there is work to do in understanding the transferability of specific skills, but of course it's tricky to forecast the jobs market and match relevant skills and competences because automation will bring about new jobs and new opportunities, though our aim is to encourage companies to start thinking about their driver skills and provide training that's relevant to autonomy and alternative roles now or in the not-too-distant future; that's a fundamental aim of our project.
Ultimately, though, in mapping a career pathway for truck and bus drivers we'll be able to present a qualified example of opportunities linked with skills and competences, and provide insight to the evolution of professional drivers.
Look out for more updates in the coming months!