Learning at NS
In a rapidly evolving work environment, NS is encouraging its employees to join further training programmes and keep developing themselves both within and outside their own jobs. This will also enhance their long-term employability. At our NS Learning Centre we train new employees ourselves or facilitate their training via our Regional Training Centre (ROC) partners. In addition, we ensure that the professional expertise of all colleagues remains up to date and help them acquire new knowledge and behaviours. To this end we apply various learning strategies, both in classroom and in digital formats, whichever is the most effective. In 2021, NS invested over €17 million in these training programmes and other educational interventions. Over the past year, training programmes (in the Netherlands or abroad) could not go ahead or only in a much reduced version.
Focus on professional expertise
In 2021, we continued and further intensified our collaboration with several schools for senior secondary vocational education. We recruited 50 new train drivers via the train driver programmes at the Amsterdam ROC, Twente ROC and the Shipping and Transport College (STC). In addition, 141 ROC and STC students did their work placements at NS as part of their train driver vocational training programme.
In collaboration with MBO Amersfoort, 9 new students started training to become main guards at NS. Within NS 186 main guards, 65 Safety & Service employees and 190 train drivers successfully completed their internal basic training programmes.
Rolling stock technology and TechniekFabriek
At the end of 2021, 41 students (24 first-year and 17 second-year students) were doing a two-year apprenticeship in Mechatronics at TechniekFabriek (the ‘technology factory’), the institute for general secondary vocational education for current and prospective train mechanics. Last year, 15 students from TechniekFabriek moved on to a job within NS. We also launched a partnership with the Randstad employment agency for the joint training of technical talents.
NS also runs its own senior secondary vocational education programme known as Stations Retail. This tailored programme trains employees in combining speed and quality of service, which is essential in view of the fact that passengers generally spend little time at the station. In October, 27 students were awarded their diplomas. In September 2021, 30 new students embarked on their ‘Principal Seller’ or ‘Retail Manager’ training programmes.