Wednesday 20 December 2023

The Talent Expertise Development Platform plenary meeting takes place

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On 5 December 2023, the Talent Expertise Development Platform (TEDP) plenary meeting was held both in-person at UIC Headquarters in Paris and online.

Chaired by Miguel Viana from Infraestruturas de Portugal (IP), the meeting began with a warm welcome to the attendees and a review of the past years. He emphasised that TEDP’s restructuring to its new version demonstrates a profound commitment from the steering committee’s members.

Meryem Belhaj-Clot, UIC Deputy HR Director and Head of Talent Expertise & HR Development, then introduced the UIC Talent Expertise Unit and TEDP’s new structure.

Approval of the Terms of Reference

A key item on the agenda was the Terms of Reference (ToR) for the TED platform being approved. Oana Vlasceanu, UIC Quality Management Manager, delivered a presentation on the UIC Terms of Reference, followed by Belhaj-Clot introducing the TEDP ToR. Functioning as a foundational document, the ToR delineates project objectives, scope, and responsibilities. The ToR were approved, thereby ensuring that TEDP operates in accordance with the established UIC standards and guidelines.

TEDP working group presentations

The TEDP meeting highlighted the 3 new working groups, the Training Centres Network, Education and Innovation Research, and Talent, and their 2023-2025 work programmes. Each working group will play a crucial role in shaping the future trajectory of talent development.

-Training Centres Network

Alenka Dodig from SZ, Chair of the Training Centres Network, detailed the working group’s objectives, which focus on sharing best practices in rail training, and developing recommendations and guidelines. The Training Centres Network fosters discourse between trainers and trainees, organises globally important events, and promotes cooperation on various projects.

For the year 2024, the Training Centres Network working group will focus on projects involving artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and innovative learning platforms. Technical visits are planned in Vienna on 17-18 April 2024 and Valencia on 11-12 October 2024.

-Education and Innovation Research

Arpad Domjan from DB AG, Chair of the Education and Innovation Research Working Group, shared their cutting-edge educational projects for 2024-2025, focusing on fostering innovation in research, and staying abreast of industry trends to enhance the overall learning experience through 4 projects dealing with:

  • Future skills in the railway sector
  • Improving train drivers’ safety and business performance through research into the best use of Risk-Triggered Commentary (RTC)
  • Research into effective and appreciated self-study methods
  • Skill degradation analysis for more effective refresher training

-Railway Talents

Vito Pagliarisi from FS, Chair of the Railway Talents Working Group, introduced its 2024-2025 working programme, focusing on strategies to identify, nurture, and retain talent. The group was established in response to the challenges faced by the rail industry today, such as the shortage of professionals in key roles, the demand for new skills, and the changing work landscape.

The main objectives are to:

  • Maintain and improve a permanent channel of communication between young talents and UIC members
  • Create a friendly environment in the rail industry for talents and increase the attractiveness of jobs and careers
  • Help UIC members improve their branding and reputation regarding talents
  • Create international mentoring and coaching initiatives for people who want to join the railway and talents already in the sector
  • Produce guidelines and recommendations

The three working groups are demonstrating a collective commitment to advancing the field of talent and expertise development. TEDP is dedicated to fostering innovation, knowledge-sharing, and continuous improvement in rail.

Major events

The 7th World Congress on Rail Training will be hosted by Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) and China Railways (CR) from 9-11 April 2025 in Chengdu, China. During the meeting, Ling Xin from SWJTU introduced the organisation, city, venue and technical visits for the event.

Pagliarisi gave a presentation on the TrainRail Hackathon and announced that a 2nd edition will take place in 2024, with Xin summarising the last Hackathon in 2021-2022, having been one of the organisers. The event was a resounding success, attracting participants and contributions from four different UIC regions, namely Asia-Pacific, Africa, Europe and Middle East. They encouraged more regions as well as more universities and companies to actively take part in the next Hackathon.

UIC projects:

Virginie Papillault from UIC, and Tjaša Govedič from the Slovenian Railways Training Centre introduced the MIND4CHANGE “Preparing Railway Staff for Cultural Changes Linked to Digital and Technical Innovation” project. It aims to equip railway staff with essential skills and a mindset adapted to cultural shifts associated with digital and technical innovation.

Belhaj-Clot, and Yuke LI, UIC Junior Adviser for HR Development & International Training, gave an overview of projects in which the UIC Talent Expertise Development Unit is involved, including:

Chair Miguel Viana then concluded the session with a short online questionnaire, allowing active participation and collecting valuable feedback from the members. The results were displayed in real-time, showing the members’ interest in joining the 3 new working groups and the key areas of focus for the Talent and Expertise Development Platform.

Join us

If you are interested in joining the TEDP and it’s working groups, please contact Meryem Belhaj-Clot at

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