Linda Åhlberg, Järnvägsbranschens samarbetsforum

The whole railway industry stands behind the employee of the future


The investments in railways have never been greater and in order to meet this, the entire railway industry will need many new employees in the coming years.
-That's why it's extra fun that Train & Rail, the new trade fair in Stockholm 25–27 April this year, is highlighting skills supply as an important topic in the initiative "Employees of the Future", says Linda Åhlberg, HR strategist at the Swedish Transport Administration who works with skills supply issues within JBS Railway Industry Cooperation Forum.

When Linda and her colleagues at JBS, the railway industry's cooperation forum, will atend Train & Rail they will present a united front and present the width of all opportunities for exciting careers that exist today and will be needed in the rail industry in the future.

-We are on site on day three of the fair, April 27, and participate in the arena called "Employees of the Future". JBS will be represented under our attractiveness brand Järnvä, where we will meet potential future employees and hope to inspire and attract them to a job in the industry, says Linda Åhlberg.

The railway industry's cooperation forum, JBS, was formed in 2016 by actors from the entire Swedish railway industry to drive the railway's improvement work. To make the railway more robust, reliable and accessible, coordinated planning and management is required. In JBS there are representatives from the railway industry – from infrastructure managers and transporters to researchers, property managers and maintenance contractors.

In 2017, competence supply became a priority initiative within JBS and since then a number of different investments have been carried out in the two focus areas of education and attractiveness, says Linda Åhlberg.

Ambassadors from several different businesses
In the arena during the Train & Rail fair, there is also representation from Swedtrain, the fair's one organizer, as well as training organizers and ambassadors from various companies in the industry.

The ambassadors will be able to tell the visitors about their jobs, what different professions they have had and what training they have attended, as well as what they think about working in the industry. The training providers can then inform about different training paths and opportunities, says Linda Åhlberg.

Future Employees has its arena in the middle of the fair, with a stage there, there will be an exciting program with presentations aimed at students from universities and colleges, high school students, career changers and study and career guidance counselors.

Extra focus on attractiveness
Until this year, JBS's mission in skills provision has stood on two legs, education and attractiveness. But with the formation of the Railway College, JBS will from 2023 only work with attractiveness issues.

We will work even more outwardly to ensure that the railway industry has access to employees with the right skills. As a hub for our work, we have our joint portal Järnvä, says Linda Åhlberg.

JBS's work consists of attracting more people to the industry instead of different companies and operations competing with each other for the workforce. We fill the duck pond together. One of the strengths of this approach is that the industry is so multifaceted. There are many different companies with many different orientations and specializations. There are opportunities for potential future employees with different educational levels to create a developing future for themselves, with enormous opportunities to change tracks along the way, says Linda Åhlberg.

More choices better for employees
-The advantages of us together showcasing the entire industry means that we have the potential to attract more, above all because together we can show the employees how great the opportunities are with all employers in the industry. It discouraged many companies from cooperating when we started, they saw each other as competitors. Now everyone involved has understood the advantages of the collaboration, it gives both company and employees a greater chance to develop at all levels and we can keep the employees in the industry, says Linda Åhlberg.

Järnvägscollege takes over the educational issues linked to upper secondary school, vocational training and university of applied sciences and acts as a neutral meeting place for the railway industry and a quality assurance system for the educations. Järnvägscollege is not an education provider but a collaboration between different players in the industry, together we create the conditions for higher and more consistent quality educations. The Railway College will be a support and springboard for the training providers who want to start train and railway training in the future, says Linda Åhlberg.

During days one and two at Train & Rail, the Railway College will be in the stand that JBS has on day three. The purpose of their participation is partly to create contact and build relationships with employees in the industry, as the work within the railway college is based on collaboration and that the industry's employees are part of various working groups in order to e.g. develop nationally equivalent content for YH educations. In order for the work to be good and work, the participation of various employees in the industry is absolutely crucial. With them on the stand on days one and two, the railway college has a number of training providers, largely to give them a chance to meet and get to know each other.

FACTS / This is JBS
-JBS stands for the Railway Industry's Cooperation Forum and was formed in 2016 by actors from the entire Swedish railway industry to drive the railway's improvement work.
-To make the railway more robust, reliable and accessible, coordinated planning and management is required. In JBS, the entire railway industry is therefore represented – from infrastructure managers and transporters to researchers, property managers and maintenance contractors.
-JBS members are Vossloh, Byggföretagen, Skånetrafiken, Västtrafik, Tågföretagen, Green Cargo, Jernhusen, SJ, Svensk Kollektivtrafik, MTR, Region Stockholm and the Swedish Transport Administration.
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FACTS / This is the Railway College
-The railway college must coordinate railway education and develop quality criteria together with the industry to increase the quality and attractiveness of both the education and professions.
-Initially, the Railway College will prioritize professions with a focus on the infrastructure.
-The railway college is a joint responsibility and ambition between the Swedish Transport Administration and other parties in the railway industry and will start as a four-year pilot project.
-The Railway College's steering committee consists of representatives from the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Administration School and JBS, the Railway Industry Cooperation Forum, the Association of Swedish Railway Entrepreneurs, Tågföretagen, Swedtrain, Swedish public transport and Byggföretagen.
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