On a new track – all signals set to "Go"

Training for railway workers specialising in operational train driving and transport updated

Up to now, in the area of rail transport occupations, dual training has been available as an "operational railway worker" with the two specialisms of "train driving and transport" and "track". From 1 August 2022, both specialisms have been moved over to standalone dual training occupations. In future, aspiring "Railway workers specialising in operational train driving and transport" will be deployed as shunters and drivers transporting goods and persons by rail. Aspiring "Railway workers specialising in train traffic management" will control train traffic from centralised and decentralised signal box systems and in control centres.

On behalf of the Federal Government, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) has worked together with the relevant federal ministries as well as social partners and experts from company practice to develop the two new training regulations.

The splitting into two standalone dual training occupations takes account of current developments in the railway sector. The first half of the training focuses on teaching the basic knowledge of normal operations in each case. This means, for example, that aspiring train drivers acquire skills specifically relating to shunting and train preparation, while aspiring train traffic controllers acquire skills specifically relating to the use of signalling equipment and safely managing the rail service in normal operations. The focus in the first year of training is on delivering common content. For this reason, trainees are also taught together in the vocational school during the first year. And the first part of the extended final examination also relates to the entire rail system in order to underline the importance of common features.

The focus of the second half of the training is concerned largely with safety-related issues in the respective railway operation in the event of deviations from normal operations and disruptions. The final exams have also been updated and designed with more practical elements. Where possible and appropriate, these can also take place in the form of a simulation.

In 2021, just under 1500 new training contracts were concluded for operational railway workers. Employment opportunities following training are excellent as there is an urgent need for train drivers and train traffic controllers. The training also opens up opportunities for advancement and career progression, for example as a Bachelor Professional in Rail Transport, or as a Bachelor Professional in Railway Operations (IHK). The training also enables progression on to degrees in transport engineering.

The now updated training regulations for the company-based element and the framework curriculum for the school-based section – which is tailored to the company-based element – replace the existing training regulation from 2004.

Source: press release of the German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB), revised by iMOVE, September 2022