Ukrainian refugees are being encouraged to become bus drivers.
Metro Mayor Dan Norris helped Stagecoach launch a special recruitment day to encourage the West’s Ukrainian guests to get behind the wheel.
At the special open day would-be drivers had a chance to try out driving a bus and meet current bus drivers who say it’s a great profession to join.
If the refugees sign up, the new recruits will take part in a tailored training programme as they learn new skills to become part of the most thanked profession in the whole country.
The West of England is suffering from an acute driver shortage with over 200 vacancies.
This has been the major issue driving recent service reductions. Many bus drivers were lured away from the industry to become lorry drivers last year during the empty shelves crisis when the government wrote to them and suggested they become HGV drivers.
The West of England Authority, led by Mr Norris, is supporting operators with bus driver recruitment. He has funded a four-person bus driver recruitment team helping bus companies target new would-be drivers. This is being backed by tailored careers support and training from the West of England Authority with a single access point for people interested in becoming a bus driver.
Stagecoach have recently increased their hourly rates to £13.75 per hour (Monday to Friday), £14.00 per hour on Saturdays and £15.70 per hour on Sundays, meaning there has never been a better time to get behind the wheel, Mayor Norris added.