Mexico's transport sector is becoming increasingly professional
Inauguration of the cooperation between Colegio Nacional de Educación Profesional Técnica (CONALEP) and DB
On 27th August, Colegio Nacional de Educación Profesional Técnica (CONALEP) and DB Engineering & Consulting (DBEC) officially entered into a cooperation for the development of a qualification system to foster professionalization and to prepare Mexico’s railway industry for upcoming challenges. The agreement was officially signed between Dr. Enrique Ku Herrera (Managing Director of CONALEP), Carsten Puls (Executive Director Latin America) and Gorden Rumpff (Director Mexico), and in the presence of high-level representatives from the project team of Tren Maya. Due to the worldwide travel restrictions, the signing ceremony took place virtually.
The Mexican government's national development plan, for example, envisages a comprehensive expansion of the rail network, which is currently 26,000 km long. Among the most important projects is the high-speed line from Mexico City to Queretaro 200 km away; the 60 km long connection from Monterrey to the General Mariano Escobedo International Airport; and probably the most important and with a route length of 1,500 km the largest project: the mixed traffic route on the Yucatan peninsula - the "Tren Maya".
Considering the infrastructure projects in Mexico’s transportation sector and the rediscovery of the sector in general, there is clearly a need for well-trained staff for all jobs involved.
However, the long neglect of the sector has resulted in a lack of adequately trained personnel. Despite very good isolated applications by local operators, both centralized training and continuing education are needed to introduce a nationwide standard and to build sustainable competencies in the market. It is clear that an integrated and comprehensive qualification system for the transport sector must be established in order to build up the demand for skilled workers for the upcoming and ongoing projects as well as to provide job opportunities.
CONALEP is Mexico's leading training institute and its mission is to educate and certify technical professionals through a competency-based model in order to meet the needs of the industry. In this position it contributes to raising the productivity and competitiveness of the country. This cooperation combines CONALEP’s mission with the experience of DB and in general the German educational model to work towards the goal of improving the capacity and quality of railway personnel in Mexico. By providing its knowledge and experience in the operation of various modes of transport as well as training, DB will support society and CONALEP in the professionalization of the transport sector in Mexico and its adaption for the future.
Furthermore, the cooperation will benefit from the expertise of the German dual education system that promotes specialists in different areas. In this successful model, theory is combined with practice and is adjusted to the specific requirements of the industry, allowing DB to always have young generations trained. The special characteristic of this model and one of its success factors is to offer alternative educational paths besides the academic career, which have been developed by the industry focusing on its needs. Dual training programs are standardized and therefore equally valid, while company-specific content is additionally provided in training by the companies themselves.
In short, standardization leads to flexibility in the disposition of qualified workers for their tasks. Thus, the resource of qualified personnel is no longer a scarce good and creates equal opportunities even for those who do not have access to academic training.
CONALEP and DB will combine their respective strengths and experience and form the basis of the transport-related educational system in order to create the foundation for all: the same knowledge base and equal opportunities for all.
Colegio Nacional de Educación Profesional Técnica (CONALEP)
CONALEP was founded in 1978. It is subordinate to the Mexican Ministry of Education (SEP). Today, the institute is represented by 308 schools throughout the country. These schools educate more than 75% of all vocational students in Mexico. CONALEP's educational offerings are exclusively for the upper secondary level and comprise 48 different courses. Since 2015 CONALEP has also been a UNEVOC center.
Picture - person depicted (from left to right):
- Dr. Enrique Ku Herrera (Managing Director CONALEP)
- Javier Velázquez Moctezuma (Academic Science Coordinator, TREN MAYA)
- Dr. Emmanuel Gómez Farías Mata (Senior Contract Manager, DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH)
- Carsten Puls (Executive Director Latin America, DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH)
- Doreen Christmann (Business Development, DB Rail Academy)
- Jorge Shields Richaud (Director of Technological Services and Training, CONALEP)
- Gorden Rumpff (Director México, DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH)
- Rolando López Saldaña (General Secretary, CONALEP)
- Silvia Ortega Salazar (General Management Advisor, CONALEP)