Competences Gap in European Railways Education

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - rail, planning - education


education, European Union Railway market, competency gaps


This paper addresses the gap between the competences offered by educational institutions and those required by railway firms. The competences gap has long been recognized as contributing to low job satisfaction and productivity. The term refers to the mismatch between the competences required for accomplishing a task and the actual competences of the employee. The research had two purposes: to develop a framework for analysis of the competences gap between firms and educational institutions and to assess the gap between competences required by the European Union railway market and those offered by higher education. The key competences of a railway employee were identified as the following: rolling stock and traction; systems engineering; civil engineering; control systems; operations; economics, business, and regulation; and environment. Railway firms were surveyed to identify the current demand for competences. The curricula of railway courses were reviewed to assess the competences being offered by educational institutions. Comparison of the competences demanded with those being offered indicated the existence of gaps with regard to several competences.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.