Good Practice Exchange Germany - UK

Vocational training in Public Transport Services

For several months we, along with our German partner, have planned Go Europe (a project of the Senate of Berlin), a professional exchange program for the Public Transport Industry as the main Berlin public transport provider showed interest in this kind of exchange and international placement programs. Senior Manager Mr Carl Schuppan took the lead in this endeavour and Embrace was happy to accommodate the visit in November 2015 in London. On the 23rd of November 2015 we welcomed four senior professionals from BVG (Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe) in our Embrace office in Brixton for a good practice exchange for public transport industry and international placement schemes. All BVG professionals are engaged in vocational training and the group was led by Mr Stefan Christian responsible for training development.

BVG is the main provider for public transport in Berlin, Germany. BVG strives to offer its apprentices not only a deep fundamental understanding of their various professions, but wants to offer them also the chance to see beyond their own training and their daily routine. Furthermore they are aiming to develop a strong, modern and motivated workforce for the generations to come. In order to do so BVG wanted to explore the training systems in UK and explore possibilities to send some of their apprentices to London to work experiences.

On Tuesday we learnt in depth about the organisational structure of BVG, their training programs, their aims and objectives for their current and future personnel. Embrace shared their holistic approach to self-empowerment of young people in regards to tailored placement programs - from organisational structures, placement periods, mentoring/coaching, language training for work to self-leadership modules in order to foster professionalism on an interpersonal level. In the afternoon a visit to the London Transport Museum was arranged with TFL representative Roger Dailey who gave an interesting presentation the next day. BVG staff was very inspired by the layout of the museum and the methods used and how TFL uses the museum to generate interest in the company through a wide range of activities for school children as well as volunteer schemes.

On Wednesday we welcomed Mr Roger Dailey as a representative from TfL Transport for London. He shared great insights in the strategy of TfL with regards their training programs as well as recruitment methodologies which also reach out to some of the most hard to engage people to join TFL for training and apprenticeship programs followed by discussions about similarities and differences in both systems and approaches.

On Thursday we welcomed Mr Danny Miller representative from the Network Rail Thameslink Programme). He shared about TfL’s employment strategies, vocational training schemes, health and safety regulations and much more. The pro-active approach to inclusion of disadvantaged members of the community was very much appreciated by BVG and they felt inspired by this practices. We had very interesting discussions about the different approaches and how it would be possible to imitate a fruitful collaboration within the scope of mobility programs in the future for apprentices and staff. We will keep you posted about further developments.