Published date 20 October 2022

Recruiting more bus drivers for better services

Metro Mayor Dan Norris meets new bus drivers as part of recruitment campaign

There are jobs for around 200 bus drivers and if we find them, people will enjoy better services. That’s the message from Metro Mayor Dan Norris as he works with bus companies to get to grips with the bus driver shortage.

On a recent visit to a bus depot, the Metro Mayor spoke with current drivers about what they like about their roles including the flexibility, variety, and of course, meeting passengers. Some say that being a bus driver means a job in the most thanked profession in the world.

The Mayor is also supporting a bus driver recruitment team, funded by the West of England Combined Authority, helping bus companies across the region to target new would-be drivers.

The recruitment drive is being backed by tailored careers support and training from the West of England Combined Authority with a single access point for people interested in becoming a bus driver.

A region-wide campaign featuring current drivers that highlights the rewards of driving a bus will kick off shortly as well as targeted work to encourage more women and people from ethnic minorities who are currently underrepresented in the industry to consider driving a bus.

Dan Norris said: "Sorting the driver shortage is a vital step to fix the bus network. Do you or someone you know fancy a career change? Then why not become a bus driver? Your community needs your skills to get vital buses moving. Under my leadership I’m determined the West of England gets more bus drivers trained up."

John Burch, Manager Wales & West, Confederation of Passenger Transport UK, said: "Staff shortages are challenging all bus and coach operators currently. I welcome this initiative to provide some resource to help operators recruit more staff and raise awareness of the important role of drivers. Buses and coaches are an important part of our public transport. We are keen to improve the diversity of our driving teams. This is a friendly industry and one that is particularly suited to those who potentially enjoy driving and working with people and who might be looking for a change. I look forward to being able to work with the Mayor to unlock some of that potential."

For more information on becoming a bus driver, please visit the bus driver campaign page.

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