Rail – Stuttgart – Free travel for refugees as train drivers: project successful – economy


Stuttgart / Mannheim (dpa / lsw) – You come from Syria, Morocco or Sri Lanka and bring passengers in Baden-Württemberg from A to B: 15 refugees have qualified for the profession of railcar driver in a one-year training project. “The refugees are making an important contribution to ensuring the stability of driving operations,” said Transport Minister Winfried Hermann (Greens) on Monday in Stuttgart. There are hundreds of railcar drivers missing in Baden-Württemberg and thousands nationwide. At the same time, the training course is a good opportunity for migrants to integrate, said Hermann after the first course of this kind had ended.

To make it easier to get used to, the state provided 182,000 euros for carers. These coaches supported the young men, for example, with administrative procedures or problems with railway workers’ German. All participants, who were each trained by one of the four participating railway companies, stayed. The prerequisite for participation was a secure residence status.

The Federal Employment Agency paid for the costs of the course in Mannheim and part of the wages. Their country manager Christian Rauch emphasized: “Thanks to the cooperation of many actors, we have succeeded in integrating refugees permanently into the labor market.” How important personnel recruitment is for railway companies is shown by the rare interplay of several companies that are otherwise competitors. Because the locomotive drivers have contracts with the Albtal-Verkehrsgesellschaft, Go-Ahead, Abellio and the MEV-Eisenbahnverkehrgesellschaft.

The start of a follow-up course is planned for summer 2021. Germans can also use the Further.Education! apply for training as a train driver.

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