Women invited to test drive buses in bid to boost female numbers

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FANCY a life on the buses, ladies?

Transport firm Go North East is inviting Wearside women to try their hand at driving a bus as part of a recruitment campaign.

The bus operator wants to hire 300 women to run its services across the North East, and is holding an event at the Stadium of Light to show its not just a job for the boys,

Only eight per of the company’s 1,600 drivers are women, and the firm believes this is largely down to misconceptions that driving a bus is difficult and that bus driving is a man’s job.

Keith Robertson, Go North East’s recruitment coordinator, said: “These events in Sunderland are a chance for anyone – men or women – who is interested in hearing more about bus driving to come along and meet some of our drivers and have a chat about our job opportunities.

“Some of our female drivers from our Deptford depot will be there to talk to people about what the job is like.”

Keith said the firm, which employs 2,100 people, has taken a fresh approach to recruitment, and anyone applying for a job needs to have “a flair for customer service” – but no professional driving experience.

He said the company provides free, fully-paid bus driver training to gain a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence.

Women interested in applying only need a clean driving licence which they have held for at least 12 months.

Keith said: “Anyone who comes long can have a go at driving a bus through a course.

“Application forms will be available and people can be booked in for job interviews if they meet the company’s criteria.”

The bus test-drive event takes place between 9am and 2pm on Sunday May 10 at the Stadium of Light.

There is also a recruitment session at at Market Square on Friday May 8 from 10am until 2pm.