Deutsche Bahn's workforce shortage has topped 20,000 jobs this year, flat on last year's levels, according to an editorial by Handelsblatt. With fewer workers elsewhere in the EU, German employers are considering looking for workers outside the bloc.
“I do not rule out that in the future we will look more outside the EU. For example, we are already negotiating in Turkey,” says Deutsche Bahn HR Director Martin Seiler.
Based on around 20,000 jobs annually, the railway company's staffing needs will amount to an impressive 180,000 employees by 2030.
Deutsche Bahn's problems are characteristic of the entire German economy. Demographic changes are reducing the country's pool of able-bodied citizens. Many employees will leave the company in the coming years, Seiler explains.
Refugees are also of interest to Deutsche Bahn as potential workers. There are special integration programs. “For example, we take care of the living space and provide social guides for everyday activities, such as going to the doctor or the authorities,” Seiler says.
“We have set up our own cross-border recruitment team and are specifically looking abroad, mainly in the EU,” the HR manager gives as an example. We are talking about train drivers from Spain, bus drivers from Romania or builders of contact networks from Ukraine.