Bus driving training scheme provides a route to success for Wigan residents

A new initiative aiming to create more than 100 new bus drivers to help protect services and routes in Wigan and Greater Manchester is open for applications.
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One of the UK’s leading training providers Realise has been appointed by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to run a Skills Bootcamp around bus driving.

Named The Route to Success, the programme is open to the residents of Wigan and is designed to offer a new career opportunity for anyone over the age of 19 with a full UK driving licence.

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Learners who enter the training will become a qualified bus driver in a maximum of 16 weeks, even without any previous experience.

The scheme aims to open up an initial 112 jobs across the region.The scheme aims to open up an initial 112 jobs across the region.
The scheme aims to open up an initial 112 jobs across the region.

A total of 112 bus drivers will be created initially with eachindividual guaranteed a job interview with a local bus provider. It is hoped that 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, 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.

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

“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.

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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.

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Kairon said: “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, Deputy Director of Bus at Transport for Greater Manchester, welcomed the new programme.

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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.”