More than 100 new bus drivers have secured employment in West Yorkshire following a specialist training programme funded by Mayor Tracy Brabin.
Launched to help tackle the region’s bus driver shortage, the free ‘Route to Success’ programme has helped people to progress into employment with transport organisations across the region, including Arriva and First.
Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin said: “We’re upskilling people across the region to support bus operators and get passengers where they need to be.
“I’m thrilled that we’ve helped 100 more people to secure good, well-paid jobs following our investment into this training – with 40 more in the pipeline.
“This is devolution in action, and it’s helping us to build a stronger and better-connected West Yorkshire that works for all.”
The initiative was the first of its kind to receive investment through the Mayor’s devolved adult education budget in July 2022, and supports her pledge to ensure that everyone in West Yorkshire has the skills they need to secure work.
Alistaire Leake, now a full-time driver at Fourways Coaches, said: “The training was fantastic and gave me an opportunity to see where I could be working. Everyone was so welcoming and made it easy.
“I knew a lot about the industry already, but this has really enabled me to ensure this was the right decision for me and my family.”
Gregg Scott, chief executive of training provider Realise, said: “Our Route to Success initiative is an innovative programme which was first launched in West Yorkshire and is now being delivered in a number of other areas across the UK.
“Bus driver shortages are a common problem around the country and we are proud to be playing our part in addressing a major issue in many communities, as well as providing opportunities for individuals to launch a new career.
“To now have more than 100 people in employment with bus operators from Route to Success and helping local residents move around West Yorkshire is a major milestone and we look forward to adding to those numbers in the months to come.”
Realise Training has also provided maths support to over 30 bus station staff through a specially tailored ‘Multiply’ programme. Designed with input from local operators and stations on the aspects most useful to their roles, it’s helping employees to improve their prospects and provide a better service for customers across West Yorkshire.
To find out more about the free ‘Route to Success’ bus driver training programme, visit www.realisetraining.com/route-to-success.