Bus driving training provides Route to Success for Greater Manchester residents


A new scheme designed to create more than 100 new bus drivers to help protect services and routes in Greater Manchester is open for applications.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has appointed one of the UK’s leading training providers Realise to run a Skills Bootcamp around bus driving.

The ‘Route to Success’ training programme is designed to offer a new career opportunity for any individual aged over 19 with a full UK driving licence.

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.

A total of 112 new bus drivers will be created initially, with each learner completing the course guaranteed a job interview with a local bus provider.

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

Anyone interested in finding out more information can visit https://realisetraining.com/course/route-to-success-greater-manchester/

Kairon Flowers

Kairon Flowers, Operations Director at Realise, said: “The bus driver Skills Bootcamp provides a real opportunity to support the franchising of the bus network in Greater Manchester.

“There is a nationwide shortage of bus drivers and that has impacted on services and routes in various locations across the country.

“Bus services are crucial to the economic and social success of local communities and it’s fantastic to see Greater Manchester Combined Authority taking measures to protect them.

“The Skills Bootcamps also provide a perfect opportunity for people who are contemplating a career change or are currently not in employment to move into a job they may not have considered before.”

Realise has implemented the Route to Success programme in other regions, including West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire, but this is the first time it has been delivered through the government’s Skills Bootcamp initiative.

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.

Kairon added: “We are looking to start the Bootcamps over the coming weeks. We will be delivering the practical bus driver training from a set location in Rochdale but we are seeking a number of different locations across Greater Manchester to deliver the classroom training and make it as accessible as possible to residents across the region.

“We will also make the delivery programme of the training as flexible as possible to allow those in employment currently to access it.

“Many of the learners who complete the course will go on to enjoy a successful role in a career they maybe didn’t see themselves exploring.

“Bus drivers can expect 38-hours guaranteed contracts and job security. For many people, it is an excellent opportunity to move away from the uncertainty of zero-hours contracts.”

Alison Chew

Alison Chew, Deputy Director of Bus at Transport for Greater Manchester, welcomed the new programme.

She said: “With the launch of the first franchised bus services just months away, now is the perfect time to get involved in public transport in Greater Manchester.

“As we look to deliver improved bus services across the region to support the wider Bee Network vision of an integrated transport system, it is essential that we equip bus drivers with the skills they need to provide these essential services.

“Realise’s Route to Success programme plays a vital role in training the next generation of bus drivers and it’s great to see the first bootcamp taking place here. I’d encourage anyone looking to embark on an exciting new career to register their interest in the scheme.”

For more information about Realise, visit www.realisetraining.com

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