Transport firm to hire its 1,000th EU bus driver

Transport operator FirstGroup is preparing to recruit its 1,000th bus driver from the European Union (EU) in the next few weeks.

Two years ago, the firm’s bus division had a shortfall of almost 800 drivers, which was seriously affecting the business and leading to the cancellation of some routes.

FirstGroup set up a project to teach experienced Polish bus drivers English to a standard that would enable them to work in the UK. Its first batch of workers arrived in May 2004 and proved to be a huge success. In addition, workers were recruited from Hungary, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta and the Czech Republic.

Jim Dalton, European recruitment manager, said the Polish drivers have had a positive effect on service standards, and have stabilised turnover. “Their work ethic is very different to UK workers. A job to them is very precious and something to be proud of,” he said.

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