School bus: shortage of drivers at the start of the school year

Two weeks before the start of the school year, there is still a considerable shortage of school bus drivers to transport schoolchildren. 8000 positions are to be filled, but the profession suffers from a lack of attractiveness, aggravated since the Covid 19 health crisis.

  School bus: shortage of drivers at the start of the school year

Shortage of school drivers: How many students are at risk?

[Updated August 19 at 3:37 p.m.] Another education-related profession affected by a severe shortage of staff: school bus drivers . After the teachers and nursery auxiliaries, the school bus managers are sorely lacking, with nearly 8000 vacancies according to the National Passenger Transport Federation. A shortage far from unprecedented, however, but aggravated by the health crisis resulting from Covid-19. Placed on partial unemployment, 5,000 of them then preferred to convert to other trades. In fact, fifteen days before the back to school , many lines throughout France will not be able to be insured, while transport professionals believe that 400,000 schoolchildren could suffer from this defection .

How do communities and businesses organize themselves to ensure collection?

The entire national territory is affected by this shortage. 'I there will inevitably be lines that cannot be insured 'says Jean-Marc Rivera to South West , and general delegate of the OTRE, one of the employers' organizations in the sector. Also, communities are trying to fill this gap, by hastily launching recruitment campaigns , as in Hauts-de-France for example. A solution that will not solve the situation at the start of the next school year, since it takes 'c five to six months to train a driver ' affirms Franck Dhersin, the vice-president of the region. Nevertheless, on the organizational level, adjustments to schedules and staggered hours are provided between and within schools, to allow a single driver to make several round trips. And if the general mobilization of companies has been decreed, as stated by the president of the National Federation of Passenger Transport on August 19 on BFM Business, the individuals try on their side to arrange between themselves x. Also, transport companies are also considering Plan B, such as driving staff who are not initially called upon to drive, or using tourist coach drivers. At Keolis, a major player in the sector and a subsidiary of the SNCF, we are turning to the recruitment of new profiles , from seniors to former soldiers holding a D permit, through the hiring of refugees via partnerships with associations, or exclusively female promotions.

School bus driver: a job with unattractive working conditions

If the situation is so degraded, it is because the working conditions no longer attract new candidates. For an hourly wage, the drivers have work amplitudes of 12 to 13 daily hours, for four hours of effective work . a generally part-time recruitment, for which they 'earn 800 euros per month' denounces the general secretary of FO-Transports, therefore demanding decent remuneration.