It marks the first-ever joint campaign by bus companies in the region.
West Yorkshire Bus Alliance, which includes First Bus, Transdev and Arriva working together with the combined authority, joined forces with the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin, this week to begin a recruitment campaign to attract an additional 1,000 bus and coach drivers into the region’s workforce.
It is the first time bus operators have acted jointly to encourage the public to find out about bus and coach driving job opportunities.
The event, held in City Square in Leeds, coincided with the start of Bus & Coach Driver Recruitment Week, a national campaign by the Confederation of Public Transport (CPT) which represents the industry.
“Buses are an important part of the transport mix in West Yorkshire. We’ve seen the effect Covid has had on our bus services, with some services reduced because there haven’t been enough drivers available to run them or being cut because people aren’t travelling at the moment." Mayor Brabin, said.
"It’s important that we have drivers trained and in place so that as patronage rises operators can run higher frequencies, to get our services back to where they were. I want to see government supporting our desire to help people get back to their workplaces, or to see family and friends, by helping the bus operators financially through this challenging time.”
Members of the public were able to chat with the operators and discover more about the reality of being a bus driver. Information was also provided about a dedicated bus driving jobs website that has been set up jointly by the bus companies and will be live from February 28.
Being a driver means playing an essential role keeping people connected with friends and family, making sure they can access essential services, and travel to work, education or other training opportunities.
A spokesperson for the Bus Alliance said: “We want to encourage people to consider a job as a bus driver and the career pathway this can provide into other roles in our businesses. Buses and coaches are a vital form of transport and many people rely on them to make their day-to-day journeys as well as for longer trips.
“We are seeing a gradual rise in diversity with people from wider backgrounds and with transferable skills joining our workforces and we want this to continue."
It is estimated that a further 1,000 bus and coach drivers will be needed in the future to fully develop and deliver the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) for West Yorkshire.
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