A project by the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), Berlin's public transport operator, will soon see 16 refugees employed as bus drivers in the German capital.
To secure a place in the project, participants had to meet strict requirements: they needed a bus driver’s license, good German language skills, and a residency permit.
Speaking about the project, BVG spokeswoman Petra Reetz said it is well-known that jobs in the public transport sector are not very popular among young trainees. “We still have enough staff, but the average age is simply too high. When drivers retire, we have to fill positions” she said.
Although only 16 refugees are involved at this stage, it is clear that this will not remain the case for long. BVG are looking to employ not only more bus drivers, but mechanics and mechanical engineers too.
Tino Schopf, a transport expert from the Social Democratic Party of Germany, has commended the project stating: “This is how integration is achieved. It is exemplary.”
For more information, visit berliner-zeitung.de (in German).
Image credit: Köpenick Berlin. LN Mercedes Benz Citaro O 530, nr. 1758 Linie 269 (from Flickr) by Sludge G under CC BY-SA 2.0.