Why one in five children is at risk of being deprived of a school bus at the beginning of the school year

The problem is not new, but it is getting worse every year. The passenger transport sector is fighting for employment, be it in metropolitan areas or rural areas. Faced with the Covid-19 epidemic and consequent captivity, many drivers chose to quit their jobs for jobs less affected by the crisis. Several other factors exacerbate this deficiency, the direct consequences of which can be dramatic. Indeed, in addition to less frequent abandonments – as announced by Metz and reported by France Blue – a shortage of 8,000 school bus drivers is being feared by industry players at the start of the school year. Thousands of children – about one in five – could find themselves without a bus on September 1

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Don’t count Turnover Current “One of the first problems to be solved for the sector is its aging pyramid. “On average, drivers are 51 years old, and every year, there is widespread retirement ৷ a phenomenon exacerbated by the health crisis, as drivers near legal age leave earlier for fear of contracting the virus.Ingrid Marshall, General Delegate of the National Federation of Passenger Transport (FNTV), a major association of companies in the sector, explained that the branch is one of the main ways today. “Retraining”. If the bus driver’s license pass limit is set at 21 years, from April 30, 2021, the profession is accessible from the majority age. “However, a full-fledged apprenticeship sector needs to be created, as unlike the truck sector, there is still no educational and professional orientation for transportation.” He continues

Thierry Duane, president of CTFC Transport, one of the unions in the sector, opposes the solution, but especially in the case of school lines: “Working with children is not always easy. When they are young, you need to be able to ensure their safety. And when they are teenagers, sometimes respect is needed. How do you expect an 18-year-old to achieve this?”

Salary is very low

In the branch, uncertain contracts are also a major barrier to recruitment. To conclude, drivers are regularly forced to look for a second job. A real challenge for school bus drivers, whose deserts are scattered day by day. “It’s a job with a very wide scope. The main services are morning and evening, with a big break in between. Part-time work thus represents 40% of the contract in the branch ”, Detailed General Representative of FNTV. This necessarily leads to a corresponding fee, “If the company has no other mission” To be assigned to their employees.

In general, for Thierry Dwayne, “Wages too low” Don’t make the sector attractive. On average, a public transport driver earns between 500 1,500 and 2,000 2,000 per month, depending on seniority, overtime and any bonuses.

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On the urban line, rudeness against drivers does not help fill the gap. Sometimes it can take on more serious proportions, such as the July 2020 assassination of Philip Manguilot in Bayonne. “It doesn’t bother most travelers, but unfortunately we can’t deny its existence. It happens that drivers throw stones and die, or worse.The CFTC recognizes transport representatives. “There are some crimes that can motivate people to quit their jobs. However, at the moment, I don’t think that’s a barrier to joining the branch. “Ingrid Mareskal added.

A European phenomenon

Faced with the difficulty of this appointment, which has been going on for more than ten years, the regional council, for which it has the capacity, is trying to resolve. According to West France In Brittany, a িয়ন 10 million plan – split between aid for training and salary increases – has been announced to find 550 drivers missing at the start of the school year. Pace de la Loire, “Qualification session 100% supported” Given, and the possibility “Complementary activities in tense sectors” Being studied, again according to the regional daily.

Yet it should be emphasized that this deficit is not a specific problem for France. According to a survey published last June by the IRU (International Road Transport Union), the vacancy rate for vacant bus drivers has reached 7% in 2021 and is expected to increase by 1% in 2022. “It has already put struggling economies and communities at risk of inflation, problems of social mobility and the collapse of the supply chain.”I believe the Secretary-General, Umberto de Preto, has called on the authorities in particular. “ Encourage more women. Access to the profession, these represent only 12% of the employment rate in the branch of the continent. In France, among railway, aircraft and road construction sites, the new transport minister, Clement Beaune, took the risk of setting foot on the accelerator.

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