Germany Facing a Shortage of 87 000 Bus Drivers, Foreigners Now the Answer | Apply Now

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Germany’s shortage of bus drivers is now worse than originally predicted. The country with Europe’s largest economy will be short of 87 000 bus drivers by 2030, according to German tourism and transport officials.

Industry experts blame the situation on a combination of coronavirus job changes, the anticipated “green mobility transition” and bureaucracy-heavy application processes for new employees means that Germany 

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Germany is in short thousands of bus drivers

The shortage of bus drivers that Germany will face in the near future is larger than initially expected: according to new estimations by the Federal Association of German Bus Companies (BDO),

The association previously predicted a shortage of 76.000 personnel by the end of the decade. Currently, transport associations in Germany and companies that run long-distance buses are already missing 7 800 employees.

Tourism Officer at the BDO, Patrick Orschulko predicts that the bus drivers are likely to become even more stretched. “There are lots of drivers retiring”, Orschulko told the dpa. The association is also gritting its teeth in anticipation of Germany’s Verkehrswende (mobility transition). “We are expecting passenger numbers to double,” added Orschulko.

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Germany to open bus driver jobs to foreigners

To counteract the scarcity of new employees, the German government is currently scrambling together a plan to attract foreign workers to the federal republic and simplify the bureaucratic barriers which prevent speedy employment.

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For bus drivers in particular, the BDO believes that the qualification process should be Entbürokratisiert (de-bureaucratized) to follow the Austrian model, whereby trainee bus drivers are ready to work after one teaching unit, one theory, and one practical driving test.

As it stands, trainee bus drivers in Germany must get a license for driving a bus and complete a second driving qualification which allows them to transport passengers.

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In December 2022,  the German government approved plans for an overhaul of the country’s worker migration laws, with a formal bill due to be outlined in 2023. Perhaps the biggest change included in the plans is a reform that would allow non-EU workers to come to Germany for an extended period, likely a year, on the so-called Chancenkarte “opportunity card”, to seek work.

Non-EU citizens to fill the skills shortages gaps

Under the new regulations, non-EU citizens who want to move to Germany long-term would not have to demonstrate that they have been offered a contract or sponsorship. This means that where you would currently have to apply for a residence permit from abroad, which is much less welcoming to most migrant workers, applicants could now request a Chancenkarte instead.

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Newcomers would be allowed to work trial periods of up to two weeks during their year-long job search in Germany. Migrants would also be permitted to move to Germany to engage in part-time work for a minimum of 20 hours per week.

German cabinet members also discussed the possibility of migrant workers being allowed to seek work in sectors that are unrelated to their qualifications and in urgent need of employees.

For example, people who have academic qualifications could apply for work in hospitality. Though this may lead to an overqualified workforce, it would also allow migrants to find employment quickly in Germany while they find their feet.

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How much do bus drivers get paid in Germany?

Age and gender data combined, the monthly median gross salary for Bus drivers in Bavaria is €2,963.00. 25% of Bus Driver employees earn less than €2,605.00, 50% of Bus Driver employees earn between €2,605.00 and €3,317.00, 25% of Bus Driver employees earn more than €3,317.00.

What qualifications do you need to become a Bus Driver?

You have a driving license class D and you should have a reasonable level of spoken German and English. Most companies will expect you to have a minimum of 1 year’s car driving experience.

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You would be put through Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) driver training that normally lasts between 1 and 6 weeks. Your employer would also give you training for the Certificate of Professional Competence or Driver CPC.

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Opportunity for foreign job seekers

International job seekers have an opportunity to grab bus-driving jobs in Germany as a result of the looming crisis. There is no better time than now to start preparing for your move to Germany, and this starts by looking for bus driver jobs in Germany.

For bus driver jobs in Germany as of February 2023, search for opportunities at Glassdoor (visit,7_IN96_KO8,18.htm) as well as on Indeed (visit,-VA-jobs.html).

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