Mayor and bus operators launch driver recruitment

West Yorkshire Mayor and Bus Alliance join forces to recruit 1,000 new drivers to keep vital local services running.

West Yorkshire Bus Alliance, which includes First Bus, Transdev and Arriva working together with West Yorkshire Combined Authority have joined forces with the Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin to begin a recruitment campaign to attract an additional 1,000 bus and coach drivers into the region’s workforce.

It is the first time bus operators have acted jointly to encourage the public to find out about bus and coach driving job opportunities.

Members of the public were able to chat with the operators and drivers earlier this week, and discover more about the reality of being a bus driver. A new, dedicated bus driving jobs website has been set up by the bus companies at www.westyorkshirebusjobs.com  

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin said:

“Buses are an important part of the transport mix in West Yorkshire. We’ve seen the effect Covid has had on our bus services, with some services reduced because there haven’t been enough drivers available to run them, or being cut because people aren’t travelling at the moment. But it’s important that we have drivers trained and in place so that as patronage rises operators can run higher frequencies, to get our services back to where they were.

“That’s why I’m working with our local operators to recruit more drivers, so we can create a diverse, skilled workforce reflecting the needs of our region. And I want to see government supporting our desire to help people get back to their workplaces, or to see family and friends, by helping the bus operators financially through this challenging time.”

It is estimated that a further 1,000 bus and coach drivers will be needed in the future to fully develop and deliver the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) for West Yorkshire, which will be introduced this spring.

Being a driver means playing an essential role keeping people connected with friends and family, making sure they can access essential services, and travel to work, education or other training opportunities.

A spokesperson for the Bus Alliance said:

“We want to encourage people to consider a job as a bus driver and the career pathway this can provide into other roles in our businesses. Buses and coaches are a vital form of transport and many people rely on them to make their day-to-day journeys as well as for longer trips.

“We are seeing a gradual rise in diversity with people from wider backgrounds and with transferable skills joining our workforces and we want this to continue.

“There was a good level of interest today and we hope this will be another way to bring more applications for job opportunities as all operators in the Alliance look to build back driver resource in tandem with growing passenger numbers to pre-pandemic levels.”