Learning at NS

NS encourages employees to keep developing themselves, and to keep learning. We are convinced that this is good for our people and necessary for NS. The world around us is changing and offers opportunities and possibilities that we want to take advantage of, while learning and development ensure that our employees have the knowledge and skills required. In 2023, NS invested over €11.5 million in training programmes and other educational interventions (2022: €8.5 million). Employees can attend learning and development programmes both within their own job and in preparation for a new position. We train new employees at our own Learning Centre or facilitate their training via our Regional Training Centre (ROC) partners and STC training centre in Rotterdam. We also ensure that our staff remain up to date by practising their professional skills and acquiring new knowledge. In 2023, we started an induction programme for managers.

Focus on professional expertise

In 2023, we developed a new learning programme for entry-level Safety & Service officers. 2023 also saw a redesign of the Basic Train Driver Learning Pathway for employees being trained as train drivers within NS. In addition, we trained office staff and agency staff to become train assistants. We also launched a new vocational education programme for train drivers at the Koning Willem I College in Den Bosch, and partnered with NOVA College in Haarlem for the train guard training programme. In 2023, 29 new students embarked on the Surveillance and Safety Enforcement Officer – Train Guard course, a vocational programme at MBO Amersfoort, NOVA College in Haarlem or Koning Willem I College in Den Bosch. NS hired 6 graduates from MBO Amersfoort (an institute for vocational education and training) in 2023. 54 train drivers joined NS in 2023 from the Regional Training Centres in Amsterdam and Twente and STC. In addition, 122 new first-year and 158 second-year vocational education students did their work placements at NS as part of their train driver programme. Internally, 531 main guards, 351 train drivers and 116 Safety & Service officers successfully completed their basic training. In addition, 120 employees were trained as station service staff. We are training 611 new staff for jobs at NS Customer Service.

Rolling stock technology and TechniekFabriek

TechniekFabriek (‘the technology factory’) is our internal technical vocational programme for current and prospective train mechanics. In 2023, in cooperation with ROC Tilburg, we opened a new TechniekFabriek at the Component Workshop in Berkel-Enschot. We already had a TechniekFabriek in Zwolle and another in Amsterdam. With this new location, NS is now also offering students in the south of the country the opportunity to learn and work at NS, and our training capacity has increased. In September 2023, 53 students started their training programme at the TechniekFabriek. In 2023, 14 TechniekFabriek graduates progressed to jobs at NS Train Modernisation and NS Maintenance and Service.
Technicians with backgrounds outside NS can join NS via our lateral entry programme. With help from ROCs across the country, the technicians in this programme are retrained as NS mechanics.

Retail training

NS runs its own vocational training programme known as Stations Retail. This customised 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 2023, 13 employees completed their training as Retail Specialists or Retail Managers.

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