01 Oct 2020

European GEN Z Want to “Hop on” Rail and Rail Careers for the Planet, Shows New Survey

Rail is one of the greenest forms of transport today, and it’s getting even more sustainable with the innovative solutions emerging from Europe’s rail supply industry. Do Gen Z – aged 16 to 25 – in Europe want to ride rail because of its green credentials? Are they interested, especially females, in the numerous green and technology jobs that the rail industry has to offer? How do they want lawmakers to integrate rail transport into the EU Green Deal?

The results of a survey launched today provide exclusive insights into the views of European Gen Z on these questions and more. The top five results include:

  1. The majority of Gen Z are willing to hop on to greener transport for our planet
  2. Gen Z urges public authorities to invest in sustainable rail transport
  3. Gen Z believes zero-emission technology is the future of innovation for rail transport
  4. About half of Gen Z wants to hop on to careers and studies for our planet
  5. Female Gen Z currently in STEM careers value sustainable employers even more than males

The independent survey, conducted by the international think tank ThinkYoung also includes country-specific results for Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and The Netherlands. The survey is supported by the HOP ON FOR OUR PLANET campaign, an initiative from the European rail supply industry to get Europe’s green future on the fast-track with rail.

The campaign is especially focused on recruiting and retaining the next generation of skilled workers, extending even beyond GenZ to more experienced workers. Yet the survey remains a unique opportunity to hear directly from Gen Z specifically, crafting better industrial and public policy for their needs.

“The campaign clearly demonstrates that rail is the way forward for sustainable transport infrastructure, innovative jobs and a lifetime of opportunity – especially amongst European Gen Z who the survey revealed have much to learn about our industry,” explains Henri Poupart-Lafarge, Alstom Chairman and CEO, and Chairman of UNIFE, an association both representing Europe’s train builders and rail equipment manufacturers.

“HOP ON FOR OUR PLANET is a welcome initiative to attract skilled Europeans to the Rail Supply Industry. To remain world leaders in this field, we will need to show to a new generation of innovators how they could have a role in Europe's twin transition". Please tell me if this corresponds to what you expect”, comments Dominique Riquet, MEP and Vice-Chair Renew Europe, Member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN).

“Digitalisation and automation are rapidly changing skills needs in the rail ecosystem. The forthcoming Blueprint for sectoral co-operation on skills has potential to improve availability of skilled staff for rail”, adds Barbara Bonvissuto, Head of Unit DG GROW, European Commission.

The survey was presented at today’s all-digital “Hop On” campaign launch with representatives from Gen Z, DG GROW, the European Parliament and leading rail supply companies.

“Today’s event demonstrated our industry’s continued reimagining of rail. We are excited to be part of the Hop On campaign as it is another opportunity – after the Blueprint for Skills - to engage with young and experienced professionals, give them access to incredible innovation and provide paths to tremendous career opportunities,” said Philippe Citroën, the Director General of UNIFE“Together, I’m confident we can get the European Green Deal on the fast-track.”

The survey and campaign both support the EU’s initiative to make 2021 the European Year of Rail, which celebrates rail as the most sustainable, innovative and safe mode of transport. All EU and country-level survey results are now available on

The recording of the launch event is available here.

More information on the HOP ON FOR OUR PLANET campaign can be found on: TwitterLinkedInInstagramFacebookYouTube

Press contact:
UNIFE - Andrei Ciufu
Head of Unit – Communications
+32 2 626 12 64

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