This year, De Lijn is looking for around 600 drivers for all of Flanders. Today about 30 interested people came to the Labor Day in the East Flemish municipality of Destelbergen. The training course for bus drivers in De Lijn takes at least six weeks. “That is why we are organizing the working day now, so that new staff can be deployed during this summer,” says De Lijn spokesman Fredrik Wittuck.
De Lijn has around 6,500 drivers across Flanders, of which around 1,100 work in East Flanders. But the company is in dire need of new employees. “At the beginning of this year we had to look for 900 drivers for all Flanders, of whom we have already found 330,” says a company spokesman.
“Working at De Lijn means contributing to a better, future-oriented mobility in Flanders,” says Philippe Claes, Human Resources Director at De Lijn. “So De Lijn is on full swing. Together we are on our way to more sustainability. This dynamic environment offers many opportunities and opportunities for growth for our employees.”
This year, 88 drivers are being sought for the regions of Ghent and Sint-Niklaas and another 47 next year. “Ghent and Antwerp in particular are problematic, because of the competition in the labor market with the port,” it seems. In Brussels, we are facing competition from Zaventem Airport. Basically De Lijn offers very flexible hours and attractive bonuses. There is also its own driving school and the company can take the tests themselves. “Everyone who starts training gets paid from day one,” says Wittuck.
Mahmoud has been working at De Lijn in Gentbrugge for three years and has been driving mainly in the center of Ghent. He certainly has no regrets. “I’m sorry I didn’t do it sooner,” he laughs. Before that, he worked in a pizza shop and a clothing store, among other things. “But here everything is arranged down to the smallest detail in terms of overtime, pay and holidays.” Another advantage, according to colleague Hendrik, is the family atmosphere. “In all that time I didn’t have anyone who wouldn’t help me.”
Finally, anyone who wants to get behind the wheel of a bus can take a ride on the depot grounds in Disselbergen. “Next week there will be a working day in Antwerp, followed by Leuven, Ostend and others,” says Wittuck. “But today I am definitely satisfied. About 35 people have registered in advance, including about thirty. This is definitely a good turnout.”
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