Strasbourg Round-up: SIS06 - Evolution of ITS Skills in relation to the European New Skills Agenda

Evolution of ITS Skills in relation to the European New Skills Agenda (SIS 06) was the first Session of the ITS Congress in which the CAPITAL project was present.

Given that the recent European Skills Agenda is in the list of major initiatives in the EU Commission Work Programme, this session aimed to provide an opportunity for researchers, industry and practitioners to discuss the future and the evolution of ITS skills, in which several experts from the public and private sectors presented examples of initiatives and best practices that may be implemented in the near future.

Transport systems CATAPULT, represented by Michael Synodinos and Yolande Herbath opened the Session. CATAPULT Systems are established in different cities across the UK, representing a more efficient and effective movement of people and goods. According to CATAPULT Systems, to achieve an intelligent mobility, people with the appropriate skills are needed and a societal basis must be created where students can get the right training.

An example of how to meet this challenge was presented by Ludovic Drouin, from the French Embassy in London, who gave the example of École 42 which uses non-traditional education system. He presented the already established École 42 schools in France and the US and explained that the organisation is a non-profit university open to everyone and based on peer to peer learning. In collaboration with business schools and business organisations, and without teachers and schedules, the learning process is focused on project based problem solving. Students are pushed to be creative as they learn by creating real world solutions.

Florin Nemtanu, from Politechnica University of Bucharest, presented the safety related approach to matching ITS educational and skills needs currently being used in Romania. He explained that in the ITS sector there is a lack of communication between industry and academia. Therefore an industry more involved in education, employing a flexible and adaptive approach to education systems is needed. Mr Nemtanu also noted the importance of governments investing more in professors’ training as it would allow for educational staff to further develop and support students’ creativity and innovation skills, providing students with a mix of technical, social and cultural  skills which are needed in the ITS industry.

Monica Giannini, from IRU Projects, highlighted the safety and training needs of fleet managers and professional drivers and how ITS services could be used to support them in these areas. These needs are taken into account by the CAPITAL project in order to create the most appropriate training programmes to provide road transport industry professionals with adequate tools to develop their work in a more efficient way, through the improvement of their daily operations.