Go-Ahead hosts bus driver recruitment open days for Ukrainian refugees
A Go-Ahead Group bus company is working in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions to help Ukrainian refugees to become bus drivers. A change in government legislation has resulted in Ukrainian refugees receiving immediate settlement status and the opportunity to work in the UK straight away.
The UK has suffered a shortage of drivers across the entire transport industry and the bus sector is no exception – the Confederation of Passenger Transport estimates that 9% of bus driver roles are vacant across the country.
In Sussex, Go-Ahead’s Brighton & Hove and Metrobus have been campaigning non-stop for new drivers to join their team since the country came out of lockdown to support passenger demand. Even though the company has seen an increase in candidates coming forward and new drivers appointed, it still isn’t enough.
Ukrainian bus drivers can exchange their bus driving licence for a UK licence under a current standard EU agreement. Previously bus drivers from countries other than the UK had to wait a year before they could apply for jobs at Brighton & Hove and Metrobus. However, with a new company policy and a special training programme in place the company can support Ukrainian refugees back into work.
On Thursday 10 November 2022, Brighton & Hove and Metrobus will invite Ukrainian refugees to its recruitment open day. Those who attend have been assessed by the Department for Work and Pensions on the basis of having a driver’s licence and a good understanding of English written and verbal communication skills that are essential for the positions offered.
Anita Pain Employer Advisor for Brighton and Hove Jobcentre, said:” It's terrific how businesses have come together to support the Ukrainian community. We are delighted to have been a part of this innovative and fast paced approach to fill vacancies in our city”.
At the open day the Ukrainian refugees will find out what jobs are available at the company including driving, engineering and customer services. They will learn more about the training processes involved and career progression.
Ed Wills, Managing Director of Brighton & Hove and Metrobus said:
“We provide a first class bus service for our community. We want to help local people live their lives to the full whether that’s driving them to work, school or to meet up with friends and family. As a company we also have the ability to offer jobs to people from the Ukraine who are here to start a new and more peaceful life. I look forward to having more recruitment events like this in the future.”
Bus driver salaries in Brighton have increased by more than 10% this year. Drivers can now expect to earn a basic salary of £31,000 plus overtime after training.