Route to success

No PCV licence? No problem! Join our free bus driver training programme and drive away with a new career plus excellent benefits.

Course overview

At a glance




1 week


Multiple locations

About the course

Currently available in West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Liverpool City Region and Tees Valley.

Start a career that you love, with a great salary and guaranteed hours. Train for free and become a bus driver in West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Liverpool City Region and Tees Valley.

‘Route to Success’ is a free training programme that takes people with no bus driving experience and equips them with the skills to become professional drivers.    

Whether you’re unemployed and looking to get back into work, or employed but looking to retrain into a new career, this course is your opportunity to take the wheel and start an exciting new career.  

In just a few weeks, you will gain new skills and get behind the wheel of a bus. Once the programme is over don’t worry, we’ll introduce you to employers in the area so you can start your dream career without delay. 

The programme is split into three stages: 

  • Stage one – myth busting and engagement

In stage one, you’ll be learning all about the skills you need to excel in the profession.  

From myth-busting to expectations of a bus driver, through to a day in the life of and progression stories. We’ll introduce you to the theory tests and hazard perceptions tests and you’ll even get to have a go at the mock tests.

  • Stage two – hands on bus driving experience *limited places* (Only available in South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire)

On successful completion of stage one, you will also complete your driving licence application and undertake your medical test. We like to get these important elements sorted in the first week to ensure that you can get started in your new role without delay.

You will then learn the practical skills required to safely operate a passenger carrying vehicle. This is the part where you will gain hands-on driving experience with our partners. You will also prepare for, and undertake theory testing but don’t worry, we’ll make sure you are well prepared.

Start your new career 

At the end of the programme, you will be ready to start your new career. At this point you will progress on to a guaranteed interview with a passenger transport operator in your area. 

To create and deliver Route to Success, funding has been made available from West Yorkshire Combined Authority, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Tees Valley Combined Authority.

Is this course right for you?

Whether you’re unemployed and looking to get back into work, or employed but looking to retrain into a new career, this course is your opportunity to take the wheel and start an exciting new career. 

To complete the programme, you will need to be: 

  • Over the age of 19 
  • Living in West Yorkshire, Tees Valley, South Yorkshire or Liverpool City Region
  • A car driver (with a category B licence)  

And that’s it!  

Are you based in South Yorkshire?

If you are based in South Yorkshire, select the link to head over to the correct page to sign up and learn more.

This training programme offers individuals seeking a fresh challenge a fantastic opportunity to embark on a new career path.

Kairon Flowers, Head of Passenger Transport at Realise.

This course has been really exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

Sheryll McBride, Route to Success learner

The teaching and support I got has made me feel more confident.

Levi Howath, Route to Success learner

What you’ll learn

This course is packed with all the elements you need to start a bright career in bus driving.

You can expect to cover: 

  • PCV licence application  
  • Medical test 
  • Digicard application (subject to employer requirements)
  • On road driving (tailored to meet the individual learner needs) 
  • Vehicle introductions 
  • Theory and hazard practice and test 
  • Virtual work experience 
  • Customer service 
  • Future planning: job opportunities  
  • Health & safety  
  • DBS checks  
  • Practical training including your driving test 

After the programme, you can expect a guaranteed interview with an employer near you. 

Need more information?

No problem. It doesn’t matter if your query is big or small, our teams are here to help. Just complete a quick enquiry form and we’ll be in contact soon to assist you with your query.

How you’ll learn

The Route to Success programme will be delivered through a mix of methods to ensure you get the most out of the experience. 

You will learn through:

  • Face-to-face classroom sessions with an industry expert trainer 
  • Workbooks 
  • An online industry insight session 
  • Experiential learning – where you will learn by trying things out on the Realise demo bus 
  • Virtual work trials 
  • Online revision  
  • Employment support  


We asked people what they liked about being a bus driver, they said:

  • Great pay 
  • Full time work guaranteed – no zero-hour contracts! 
  • Chance for overtime  
  • Every day is unique 
  • Meeting new people  
  • Being responsible for their passengers  
  • Making a difference to the lives of others

Our experts

The people that make it happen


Head of passenger transport


Head of passenger transport

I’m Kairon, head of transport for Realise and I’ve been with the business for just over six years. I joined as a bid coordinator apprentice back in the summer of 2015 and made the move into operations in January 2019 and I’ve never looked back. My current role is leading and growing the transport team (currently a team of 30), who deliver the passenger transport bus driver level 2 apprenticeship, in partnership with leading transport operators.


Partnership manager


Training & development officer


Training & development officer

I have been in transport for 14 years, I am a qualified assessor, trainer, and CPC instructor, working on the West Yorkshire contract ‘route to success.  


Partnership manager


Partnership manager

I joined Realise as a trainer after working as a CPC instructor. I saw the value of the apprenticeship within the industry and wanted to be part of it. I worked closely with learners delivering workshops and providing guidance and support. After a year I became a performance manager, still working closely with learners and my small team.


Performance manager


Training & development officer


Training & development officer

I have 19 years’ experience in passenger transport as a driver, mentor, supervisor and trainer. I have worked for Realise as a trainer since January 2020. My role gives me great opportunities to share the knowledge and skills that I have developed over the last 19 years in passenger transport. Working with and supporting new and established drivers to give them the confidence, knowledge and skills needed to become a professional driver in the bus industry.


Training & development officer

Ready to take the next step?

Let’s talk. You’re only a few clicks away from enquiring about this course. Don’t delay, get in touch and start something exciting today!