Faced with the shortage of school bus drivers, the Region is relaunching a recruitment campaign

Faced with the shortage of school bus drivers, the Region is relaunching a recruitment campaign

La Région transporte chaque jour 170 000 enfants, de la maternelle au lycée. Midi Libre – RICHARD DE HULLESSEN

Avec une pyramide des âges élevée et de nombreux départs, déjà, lors de la crise sanitaire, les autorités craignent de ne plus pouvoir assurer la continuité du service public. Explications.

This is one of the sectors whose shortage has seriously worried the authorities for three years, in Occitanie as elsewhere. With a high age pyramid – 50 years on average – and numerous departures, already during the Covid-19 crisis, the lack of school bus drivers leaves uncertainty over the continuity of public service. In the region, from kindergarten to high school, more than 170,000 students are transported free of charge every day of the week. Across the thirteen departments, there are 4,000 school services, in addition to the 370 regular lines of the liO network, for a workforce of 5,000 drivers currently. But many will soon assert their retirement rights.

1,500 drivers recruited in two years

For two years, the Occitanie Region has launched a recruitment campaign, which has enabled the various operators to hire "nearly 1,500 drivers& ;quot;, a figure which reduced the rate of missing personnel "from 10% in 2021 to 6.3%". But there are still a little more than 500 missing. The Taf 2024 shows, the first of which takes place on March 6 and 7 in Montpellier and, like the liO coaches will crisscross the region, will therefore be the ;rsquo;opportunity to restore visibility to this operation.

Faced with the shortage of school bus drivers, the Region is relaunching a recruitment campaign

In two years, 1,500 drivers have already been recruited… and more than 500 are still missing. Occitanie region

Training supported by the Region

To awaken vocations among the public, the Region proposes to take "in charge of all the training necessary to obtain the permit passenger transport (D), subsequently offering an immediate professional outlet to trained people". She also puts forward another argument: "by its hours concentrated at the beginning and end of the day, this profession has the advantage of being able to easily be reconciled with another professional activity or personal: it thus offers additional income for micro-entrepreneurs for example, as well as for farmers, retired people or people staying at home.

Salary increases

How much ? According to Olivier Gougeon, of the National Passenger Transport Federation, "part-time school bus drivers earn between 500 and 600 & ;euro; per month, smoothed over the year". Depending on the territories and needs, the hourly volume of employment contracts offered in Occitanie varies between 550 and 900 hours per year, "but changes to other workstations are often possible, thus allowing an accumulation of hours". A full-time driver earns a little more than the minimum wage.

Last year, during meetings at the highest summit of the State to deal with the crisis, the government recorded an increase in salaries of 12% over two years or ;rsquo;lowering the minimum age for obtaining a D license to 18 years, among other measures intended to attract a new audience behind the wheel.

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