Boost for West Yorkshire buses as adult learners get in the driving seat

An innovative training programme launched with investment from the Mayor of West Yorkshire is driving adults into jobs - and keeping the region’s buses moving.

17 February 2023

Adult learners across West Yorkshire are gaining skills and securing jobs in the transport sector, thanks to a free training programme that is increasing the number of qualified bus drivers in the region.


The bus driver training programme, dubbed the Route to Success, was the first of its kind to receive funding from the Mayor of West Yorkshire’s devolved Adult Education Budget (AEB), which aims to provide people with the skills and qualifications they need to enter the workforce. 


Since the Mayor’s investment to launch the initiative in July 2022, over 120 learners have undertaken training, with many having already progressed to secure employment with Arriva, First, and several transport organisations across the region.


Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin said:


“I’m proud that we were able to bring this idea to life with funding from our adult education budget - the very first project we commissioned through devolution.


“It is not only helping to tackle the shortage of bus drivers across West Yorkshire, but giving adults a chance to gain the skills and qualifications they need to get straight into well-paid jobs. 


“It’s great to see it already making such a positive difference to people’s lives.”


The specialist programme is delivered to learners by leading training provider, Realise, from a converted bus that travels to multiple locations around the region to ensure accessibility for those who otherwise might not have had the opportunity to take part. 


The Mayor recently visited the mobile training facility at Fourways Coaches in Cleckheaton to talk to learners about their plans for future employment, as well as trying out the virtual reality element - which provides a unique bus driving experience. 


Chief Executive Officer of Realise, Gregg Scott said:  


“It was fantastic to welcome the Mayor of West Yorkshire to our Route to Success session so she could see at first hand the fantastic work going on to train bus drivers and maintain vital services for local communities.


“The innovative programme we have produced for this scheme is tailored to offer people who have never driven a bus before the chance to secure their Passenger Carrying Vehicle Licence in a matter of weeks and complete a training course which provides them with the additional skills to be a first class bus driver.


“We are delighted with the results so far and look forward to producing hundreds more bus drivers to serve the West Yorkshire region.”


The Route to Success training programme is free for adults throughout West Yorkshire, regardless of their background or employment circumstances.


For information about the course and how to enrol, visit

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