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Time for a career change? Brussels region seeks 300 extra taxi drivers
Looking for a new job in Brussels? Taxi drivers in the Belgian capital are in short supply - and a new recruitment drive aims to hire an extra 300 of them.
Febet, the Belgian taxi federation, wants to attract more women to the job and improve the taxi sector's image. "We would like to feminise our profession and have a new approach to customer service," said Febet spokesman Sam Bouchal. "The image of a macho taxi driver is one we would like to see disappear."
He added: "We also want to broaden our horizons and get away from the cliché that only jobseekers from disadvantaged neighbourhoods become taxi drivers. We want to show that this job is rewarding and attract candidates from all over Brussels as well as the suburbs."
The Brussels region has 1,300 taxis, shared between 2,900 licensed taxi drivers, of whom about 800 work part time around another job or family commitments. According to Febet, in order to get the best possible return from the vehicles, 2,600 full-time drivers are needed.
"We have a lot of trouble filling vacant positions," Bouchal said. "There is a high failure rate in the tests and interview to obtain the certificate of professional aptitude."
The federation will organise a series of information sessions for prospective applicants, working with regional employment agency Actiris. Taxi drivers are paid a fixed percentage of their fare, with a guaranteed minimum of €1,654 gross per month if working full-time.