NS as an employer Providing good and reliable services to passengers is only possible if we can offer optimum performance operationally with healthy, committed and skilled employees. That is why we invest in the development of employees, support our managers and improve the organisation’s effectiveness and ability to change. This also demands effective collaboration with employee participation bodies and trade unions.Our employeesAt the end of 2016, the NS workforce comprised 21,488 staff (18,447 FTEs)80% of NS staff have permanent contracts (2015: 82%)Women are 34% of the employees at NS (2015: 34%)The average age of our employees is 43 (2015: 43)Trends in the labour marketThe economy is picking up and that is having a noticeable effect: the labour market is becoming tighter, especially in areas such as technology and IT, where qualified personnel were already scarce. NS is taking mitigating measures with targeted recruitment, in-house training, and consideration for staff engagement, the retention of professional skills and the development of talent. We are doing this to keep our leading position in the Dutch labour market.