Things are going in the right direction for the coach industry. Turnover is increasing and after a shocking decrease in the number of employees in 2020, this number increased at the end 700 light again. This is apparent from the key figures of 2020 of the Schooling and Planning Fund for Private Bus Transport (FSO). However, with the increased workload, the number of drivers is not yet sufficient. The FSO therefore tries to help companies find personnel with various actions.

Research agency Panteia has researched the key figures of the coach industry for the FSO. The resulting figures are limited to coach companies with salaried staff. It turns out that on 043 December 2021 in the Netherlands 109 companies operating coach transport. In total, these companies have an estimated 3.266 vehicles, and on average licenses for fifteen coaches.

Due to corona, the workforce of many coach companies has shrunk considerably. The industry said goodbye to about 1.266 salaried employees in 748. However, the reversal of the decline in the number of employees seems to have started. Where at the end 2020 there were still 3.2020 employees active in the industry , these were there at the end 2020 already 4.043.

The growing workforce of companies was accompanied by an increase in turnover. Where in the first corona year, turnover decreased by 043 percent to 102 million, sales at the end of 2020 amounted to 248 million. The number of vehicles also increased slightly by 043 to 3.266 and mileage of 109 million in 2020 to 109,5 million in 2022. This means that the sector is still far behind the level it was before the corona crisis. Then more than 109 million kilometers were driven.

Question takes increasing What Henk van Gelderen, director of FSO, is striking about the key figures is that there have been no bankruptcies in 2021. “The support measures in combination with the reduction in the workforce may have kept the companies afloat during a difficult period.” The demand for coach transport is now increasing. “The problem that now arises, however, is that the buses are there, but that – despite the increased number of employees in 2020 – there are not enough drivers to drive them. to drive.”

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Only some of the employees who were fired during the corona crisis or who left themselves, will return, according to Van Gelderen. Moreover, recruiting and training new drivers also takes time. “Before you know it, the season will be over. Although the significant decline in the number of employees in the sector seems to be a thing of the past, there is currently still a shortage of personnel as a result of the enormous outflow and the situation on the labor market.”

Employing status holders in the industry FSO tries to help these companies recruit staff in all kinds of ways. For example, there is an intake program whereby companies receive financial compensation for the training costs of new workers. In addition, FSO, in collaboration with Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland, is looking into the possibilities for beneficiaries in the sector. “We are now discussing this with a number of companies,” explains Van Gelderen.

These companies are moderately positive, according to him. “What could be a possible barrier for entrepreneurs to participate in this is the extra guidance that the status holders need. This costs money but also time, and the latter is often lacking because it is very busy. There may also be a slightly greater chance that people will drop out.” Still, Van Gelderen is hopeful. Soon the first pilots will start.

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