Learning at NS

We continually need to learn new approaches and new knowledge in order to be able to guarantee good operational and financial performance in the future. Changing and learning go hand in hand. NS is prioritising informal learning and learning on the job, with the aim of accelerating the application of new knowledge and skills. NS has invested almost €30 million in training courses and other educational measures. Staff (excluding Retail) went on 78,122 classic training days and took about 20,600 e-learning modules via the NS learning centre (Leercentrum). Moreover, 175 training programmes were created or improved.

Training drivers and conductors

The professional skills of our drivers, chief guards, safety staff and mechanics remain at the heart of all our learning activities. More than 15,000 of our 20,000 employees received training. The annual nationwide refresher training ensures the continuing employability of more than 6,000 drivers and chief guards. Almost 1,000 new drivers and conductors, including 60 starters from regional training centres, received training in intensive programmes, making them even more highly skilled employees. Drivers used online tools as an aid in their work, such as apps about rolling stock on the HSL and dedicated professional pages.


NedTrain has an intensive refresher programme for all mechanics aimed at preparing them for the future and letting them specialise in new train technologies and working methods.
In the TechniekFabriek (‘technology factory’), 89 young people with a talent for technology are taking a two-year apprenticeship in Mechatronics that will give them an MBO-2 vocational qualification in combination with all the internal training courses. In this course, (practical) teachers from NS, ROC Twente and ROC Amsterdam teach them the profession of train mechanic on the job. After they have obtained their qualification, they can start work immediately as a junior mechanic. In September, 23 former apprentices started work. The Dutch parliament is also enthusiastic about the practical approach to training at the TechniekFabriek. The minister has asked the manager of the TechniekFabriek to join the advisory committee on the demand-based funding of upper secondary vocational education.


Staff from the station operating company have completed a total of over 3,160 online safety modules. They were also given assistance at work for this.

Finance, HR and IT

We have set up training curriculums for our Finance and IT specialists. Our HR business partners have completed a personal change programme that combined personal development and the developments within NS.