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Training for bus drivers


Published 22 March 2023 at 6:30pm

South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard has awarded Realise Learning and Employment Ltd £385,000 to deliver Bus and Coach Driver Training across South Yorkshire from April 2023.

There is a national shortage of bus drivers, with significant operational challenges in the South Yorkshire region that include approximately 200 hard-to-fill driver vacancies with bus operators in our region and reported high turnover rates.

This new programme will offer those aged 19+, who are employed or unemployed and fulfil current eligibility criteria, an opportunity to undertake a training programme that could lead to PCV (Passenger Carrying Vehicle) certification, through the devolved Adult Education Budget.

Mayor Oliver Coppard said: “Fixing South Yorkshire’s public transport couldn’t be more important to our communities or to me. It’s not going to be quick and it’s not going to be easy, but I’m determined to tackle the problems that I can with the power, money and tools that we have here in the region.

“Where the private sector bus market is failing to deliver services, we’re stepping in. And now we’re using our powers to invest in the next generation of drivers, to make sure that the private bus companies have the drivers they need to deliver more a reliable, more punctual bus network. 

“I will continue to do everything I can to fix our broken transport system here in South Yorkshire, whether it’s training drivers, investing to cap fares, bringing tram services back under public control or paying the private sector bus companies who control our network more than £50 million every 5 years to keep services on the road. 

“Managed decline is simply not an option I’m prepared to accept. But the truth is that without a new approach to public transport from the government, and a real commitment to levelling-up our country, we’re never going to have the world class public transport system we deserve.”

Adam Greenwood: Assistant Director of Employment and Skills at South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, said: “At South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority we are continually looking at ways to develop programmes that directly answer the skills requirements of our region. Having seen successes with similar programmes in other regions and listening to the needs of public transport companies across South Yorkshire, the introduction of this programme being delivered by Realise Learning and Employment Ltd, will plug current and future skills gaps in bus and coach driver recruitment. 

“As an addition to the Passenger Carrying Vehicle certification, candidates will also be offered a six-month programme of development to ensure career success that will be delivered by the bus and coach operators to promote retention and career progression across the sector.”

Kairon Flowers, Operations Director of Partnerships at Realise, said: “Across the country, there has been a growing issue in recent years with a lack of trained bus drivers and, along with other factors, that has affected the number and quality of services provided.

“The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority has recognised that and is taking steps to ensure the long-term provision of bus travel within the region remains strong. Attracting new drivers to the industry will support the growth plans the region has and stabilise its service provision. This training programme also offers individuals seeking a fresh challenge a fantastic opportunity to embark on a new career path.”

Find out more about these courses by visiting the bus drivers training page.

Editor’s notes

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority has set its sights on being a region that provides inclusive growth and opportunities for all, enabling individuals and employers to reach their potential, drive productivity and contribute to our economic success.

We want to deliver a step change in our labour market that builds on the progress of recent years to create jobs and opportunities in every part of the region. This includes helping those who have been long term unemployed or who have low work aspirations to be able to easily access high quality training.  We will also focus on increasing levels of technical training and ensuring that we have the right type of businesses accessing higher-level skills that will drive improvements in overall prosperity and opportunity.

Our role is to enable businesses to survive, adapt and thrive and be more innovative and resilient as we come out of the pandemic and resulting economic downturn. To raise quality of life, reducing inequality, and widening opportunity for residents. To equip people to contribute to and benefit from economic prosperity and to support people to improve their skills, get back to work, remain in or progress in work, or set up in business and thereby accelerate social mobility.

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Telephone: 0114 220 3465


Last Updated: 22/03/2023

Published In: Business and Growth, Transport, Mayor, Skills and Employment, Featured


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