Qualification of refugees to become train drivers

Topic InclusionServicesPublic TransportPrivate TransportEducation & TrainingEmploymentGood Practices (Mobility Measures)


  • Location: Stuttgart, Karlsruhe/Mannheim and Zollernalb/Hechingen, Germany
  • Year: 2019
  • Initiator: Four local transport companies (Albtal Transport Company (AVG), Abellio, Go-Ahead and MEV) and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport and the Regional Directorate of the Federal Employment Agency


A model project that was set up to counter the shortage of personnel in the railway industry and at the same time to contribute to the integration of refugees into the labour market.


In January 2019, four local transport companies have joined forces in the qualification cluster: Albtal Transport Company (AVG), Abellio, Go-Ahead and MEV. They are accompanied by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport and the Regional Directorate of the Federal Employment Agency.

In the scope of the measure, the ministry finances so-called integration coaches who act as trust persons and support the participants in communication difficulties, dealings with authorities and administrative procedures in the company. Up to 15 future train drivers are to be trained in each of the three qualification clusters Stuttgart, Karlsruhe/Mannheim and Zollernalb/Hechingen.

Qualification procedure


  • 8-week preliminary course to impart and test basic knowledge for the profession – vocational training, getting to know operational requirements, learning and developing self-learning competence, job-related communication
  • 6-day trial run
  • German course, with the aim of raising the language level from B1 to B2


  • 12 months
  • acquisition of a driving licence for manoeuvring (A driving licence)
  • acquisition of the B-driver’s license, which is required for driving trains in regular operation


  • the Federal Employment Agency covers the costs of the training course and contributes to the wage costs
  • Ministry of Transport Baden-Württemberg finances the integration coaches


[1] Press release describing this initiative.

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