Greater Manchester gears up for bus driving experience


Residents of Greater Manchester will have the chance to experience life as a bus driver – and potentially take the first steps to a new career - in a special engagement day this week to mark the launch of a new training programme.

Experience Day

The Route to Success Bus Experience Day will be held at Rochdale Football Club’s Crown Oil Arena between 10am and 4pm on Wednesday, July 26.

People who sign up for the day will have the chance to drive a bus under the guidance of a qualified trainer, take part in a virtual reality session and learn more about the new Route to Success scheme.

Delivered on behalf of Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) as part of the city-region’s Skills Bootcamps programme, Route to Success will create more than 100 new bus drivers to help protect services and routes across Greater Manchester region.

As well as obtaining a Passenger Carrying Vehicle licence through the course, those completing the programme will also be guaranteed a job interview with an operator.

Any individual aged over 19 and with a full UK driving licence can attend the engagement day and people can sign up here.

Kairon Flowers, Operations Director at Realise

Kairon Flowers, Operations Director at Realise, said: “This bus driver experience day is a flagship event in our Skills Bootcamp Route to Success programme in Greater Manchester.

“People who come down to Rochdale Football Club will spend an hour learning what life as a bus driver entails, as well as having the chance to drive a bus in a controlled environment and learn more about the training course.

“For people seeking a new challenge and thinking bus driving may be an option they are keen to pursue, it’s an ideal snapshot into what a career in the industry may look like.”

The training has been made possible thanks to GMCA securing funding to deliver Skills Bootcamps, which form part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, helping everyone gain skills for life.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham said: “Not only are our Skills Bootcamps free, flexible and accessible to residents but they provide them with the skills they need to change or advance in their careers, reducing the need for employers to look elsewhere for talent.

“Training is carefully designed to plug skills gaps businesses desperately need and, in this case, the learning offered also supports our city-region ambitions of creating a fit-for-purpose bus network.

“Although we’re well on the way to achieving this through the Bee Network and bringing buses back under local control, we also need more people to come forward to provide a frequent and reliable service, which serves our millions of visitors and residents.”

Skills Bootcamp

The programme will see training delivered in all aspects of driving a bus including medical assessments, theory and hazard practice and test, on-road driving and customer service.

Learners who enter and complete the Skills Bootcamp will become a qualified bus driver in a maximum of 16 weeks, even if they have no previous experience.

It is hoped the new scheme will provide a regional solution to the nationwide bus driver shortage.

For more information on the course visit

Start the conversation

If you’re interested in hearing more about the route to success course,get in touch today.

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