€20m extra to keep public transport services running

Aerial view of Dutch train at a bridge crossing a canalThe public transport companies and social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher are making €20m available over the coming years to ensure enough drivers, conductors and engineers to keep bus, metro, tram and train services running.

The current workforce is aging and not enough new people are being taken on to replace the number of staff reaching pensionable age, broadcaster Nos reports.

Public transport companies have now reached an agreement with Asscher to tackle this problem, with extra money being made available to create more training places for youngsters and to retrain the unemployed. The sector is contributing €12.5m towards the various programmes, while €7m will come from the minister.

‘Our workforce is aging fast,’ Connexxion CEO Bart Schmeink told the Nos. ‘At the same time, it is getting harder to attract new staff. Youngsters are not queueing up to work for us, and we need to do something about this.’

The average age of the 60,000-strong public transport workforce is 51 and around 30% will take their pension in the next ten years.

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