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This new initiative will start as a pilot on 1 March 2023 and will soon ensure the inflow of technicians for the railway.

The rail sector is short of technical professionals. To do something about this, ProRail, Railcenter, Technical Valley and the participating rail contractors are starting a new collaboration: training lateral entrants to train security or energy supply technicians. This new initiative will start as a pilot on 1 March 2023 and will soon ensure the inflow of technicians for the railway.

Skills shortage

There is a considerable shortage of technically trained rail employees on the labor market and the required intake within the rail sector is not being achieved. There are not enough electrically trained people in particular. In addition, extra staff is needed to accommodate the growth. The rail sector expects a substantial growth of 30 percent more passengers and 50 percent more freight transport in 2030.

Training for the rail sector

Investing in the development and offering of a targeted MBO rail engineering course is one of the solutions to tackle this major bottleneck in the market. Railcenter is therefore commissioned by ProRail to join forces with Technical Valley in March 2023, train a group of lateral entrants to become energy supply or train security technicians. They do this by providing secondary vocational training. The MBO Rail Technology course is for people with technical experience or at least an MBO level 2 education. Because the mechanics in training go to work at the participating work and training companies and will receive practical guidance, there is targeted training for the rail sector.

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The rail sector is short of technical professionals.

“Technical people are the heart of the rail sector. We therefore desperately need these women and men to maintain the 7000 km of track that we have in the Netherlands. By drawing up a work and learning trajectory, potential new mechanics immediately know what working for the railway entails and whether this suits them. We will use this to connect new people to the railway.”

About the training

On March 1, 2023, the participants will start with the fully paid work and learning path. During the first 16 weeks, the mechanics in training follow the necessary theory and practical lessons. This is followed by so-called practical training: the participants work for twelve months and can learn and work under supervision at one of the affiliated rail contractors. During this period they also take an exam for the MBO Electrical Engineering – level 3 and the participants obtain the necessary rail certificates. After completing the three-year process, the mechanics will be employed by the company they initially chose. The participants in this program receive salary from day one.

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