Keolis is looking for drivers to maintain its services. "The driver shortage is acute," says Farough Shaikh, HR manager for Keolis in Limburg. "All bus and coach companies in our sector are intensively looking for drivers to carry out tours. That's why we have to shift up a gear, otherwise we will let many passengers and customers down."
After a successful series of job days in April, Keolis wants to relaunch and expand the Limburg campaign. "We think it is important to put our colleagues in the picture, share their stories and inspire others. Often the profession of driver fits perfectly into the family situation or career of employees, but not everyone is aware of this. That is why we decided to select an ambassador for our Limburg campaign," says Shaikh.
"I love being on the road, I want to do something with this".
The face of the Limburg campaign is Wout Lindmans (25) from Maaseik. Wout has been a bus driver for Keolis Bronckaers for a year now, but in his spare time he plays tennis at provincial level, gives tennis lessons to children, plays football in the lowest provincial league and is also politically engaged. His professional career began as a student teacher. "I really like working with people and children. That is why I chose to study primary education at PXL hogeschool Hasselt after secondary school. Being in front of the class was really my thing, but all the administrative tasks that came with it became too much for me."
After a short sabbatical period, he took a completely different path. "During that period, my friends would regularly call me in the middle of the night after a party to ask me to pick them up. I always did that with great pleasure, because I get a lot of satisfaction from helping people and being of service to others. Then it became very clear: I love being on the road, I have to do something with this."
Wout took a driving course with VDAB for his D driver's licence in the middle of the corona pandemic. He excelled in his profession and passed all tests and exams perfectly. "I was able to do my work placement at Keolis Bronckaers in Maaseik. The first week I rode along with a school bus driver, the second week I did line reconnaissance. I knew straight away: this is what I want to do! I started part-time in Maaseik with school trips and short line services, then I got the chance to work full-time."
Still, the profession of driver is not for everyone, Wout believes. "We work with the most valuable asset in the world: people. So you can't just say 'I don't care'. Everything revolves around taking responsibility and caring for others, because you are working with people. You will never catch me driving too fast to meet my deadline. I'd rather sacrifice my break than rush unnecessarily and put others in danger. That's what you do for yourself and the passengers, that is our duty."
Wout is the face of the Limburg recruitment campaign and wants to inspire others to become bus drivers too. "The father of a friend of mine is a self-employed painter. He is just over forty and has been considering becoming a driver for a while, but has not yet taken the plunge. Some people wrongly feel 'too old' or 'not good enough' for a career change. I want to prove that the profession of bus driver is really something for young and old. It fits perfectly with people who do not want a 9-to-5 desk job. I have invited the father to the job day and want him to be happy, just like me. I want to help take that step for others."
Keolis is committed to the training and development of its employees. With 40 branches in Belgium, Keolis is part of a strong global mobility group. Keolis is committed to supporting candidate drivers from A to Z in making a career switch
If you would like to get to know the profession of bus driver better or have a chat with Wout, come to the Jobdays on Wheels on Wednesday 8, 15 and 22 June in Genk from 10:00 to 14:00. More info via jobs.keolis.be or on the Facebook page of Keolis Belgium.
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