Preparing truck drivers for the challenges of tomorrow
The European road freight industry is one of the most important sectors of the European economy with more than one million professional drivers. The profession is set to face serious challenges over the next years: a shortage of drivers, an ageing workforce and forecasts predicting that most journeys by trucks will be automated by 2030.
The Steer2Career project aims at supporting the industry through these changes, including by developing curricula and learning programmes to assist road transport companies in preparing their professional drivers for autonomous and semi-autonomous driving in the future.
Funded by the Erasmus+ programme, the project will prepare two sets of guidance notes: one for managers and one for professional drivers. These documents will focus on the required competences, social skills and attitudes for professional drivers, with the aim of assisting managers in their work to reorganise drivers’ tasks within a company.
IRU Projects will focus its efforts on preparing and disseminating career guidance for industry stakeholders, based on previous research conducted into career and training opportunities across the European Union.
As part of the career guide, IRU Projects will design an advanced training manual for professional drivers, which will include a section on customer service skills. In certain countries, training on long truck combinations and eco or euro-combis will also be provided.
IRU will organise a workshop in Brussels with interested stakeholders to gather feedback on the training materials developed and to share best practices on how to recruit and retain professionals. The results will be used to strengthen the training guidelines for professional truck drivers.
“New technologies are quickly advancing in all areas of life. Freight transport is no exception. The first people to face and embrace industry changes like automation will be drivers. The Steer2Career project therefore aims to develop a set of tools and guidance documents for drivers to help them gain the necessary competences for their professional lives. I am convinced that the project will support both employers and employees in preparing for future developments in the industry.”
The project will deliver a set of tools:
• The Steer2Career curriculum will gather information regarding existing qualifications and training programmes for drivers in Europe. This will be used to identify the tasks and responsibilities of the driving profession in the future.
• Two learning programmes will define the potential career steps required to go beyond the profile of a regular professional driver. These programmes will be piloted in the countries participating in the project.
• Career pathways will provide examples of possible future careers choices to showcase opportunities and inspire drivers.
• The guidance document will focus on career progression and identifying future career prospects within the driving and logistics sectors. It will consist of a logistics and transport careers information brochure, a report on possible future career opportunities within the road transport sector, and additional materials to promote logistics and transport careers addressing different stakeholders such as employers and social partners.
Overall, the Steer2Career project will help the industry to prepare drivers for the automation of the sector, either by helping them to adapt to their new tasks or by providing them with information on retraining for a new career within the industry.