Hundreds of new bus drivers to be created to protect South Yorkshire services

Up to 225 new bus drivers are set to be created across South Yorkshire to help protect services in Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield and Rotherham.
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Realise, one of the UK’s leading training providers, has been appointed to run its ‘Route to Success’ programme by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority to significantly bolster the number of bus drivers in the region.

Residents from across South Yorkshire who are over the age of 19 are eligible to sign up to the programme and pursue a new career as a bus driver.

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A similar scheme has created more than 100 bus drivers in less than a year in West Yorkshire, while trials are being piloted in Tees Valley and Liverpool City Region.

Kairon Flowers, Operations Director of Partnerships at RealiseKairon Flowers, Operations Director of Partnerships at Realise
Kairon Flowers, Operations Director of Partnerships at Realise

Backed by the Mayor of South Yorkshire Oliver Coppard as part of his commitment to improving public transport in the region, it is hoped the scheme will provide a regional solution to the nationwide bus driver shortage which has gripped the industry in recent years.

Adam Greenwood: Assistant Director of Employment and Skills at South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, said: “At South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority we are continually looking at ways to develop programmes that directly answer the skills requirements of our region.

“Having seen successes with similar programmes in other regions and listening to the needs of public transport companies across South Yorkshire, the introduction of this programme being delivered by Realise will plug current and future skills gaps in bus and coach driver recruitment.

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“As an addition to the Passenger Carrying Vehicle certification, candidates will also be offered a six-month programme of development to ensure career success that will be delivered by the bus and coach operators to promote retention and career progression across the sector.”

Kairon Flowers, Operations Director of Partnerships at Realise, said: “There has been a growing issue in recent years with a lack of trained bus drivers and, along with other factors, that has affected the number and quality of services provided.

“The SYMCA has recognised that and is taking steps to ensure the long-term provision of bus travel within the region remains strong.

“Attracting new drivers to the industry will support the growth plans the region has and stabilise its service provision.”

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The first training sessions are due to begin in April with successful learners embarking on a three-stage process before securing a guaranteed job interview.

More than 200 people will be given access to an innovative myth-busting course to gain insight into a bus driver’s day, delivered over five or six sessions, with the option of weekend or evening tuition.

Learners completing stage one will then either be guaranteed a job interview with a large operator or will then have the opportunity to pursue a job with a smaller operator, with Realise overseeing the delivery of the Passenger Carrying Vehicle licence training.

All learners who have completed Route to Success will also benefit from a retention and engagement plan to help ensure they enjoy a long-term career in the industry, and attend networking events to keep in touch with fellow learners and gain valuable industry insights.

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Anyone completing the course can expect to secure a Passenger Carrying Vehicle Licence (PCV) within three months of starting the programme and will be guaranteed an interview with a local bus provider.

To apply visit www.routetosuccess.co.uk.