First Bus Driver - Disadvantage?

Status
Not open for further replies.

Plugin

New Member
Joined
21 Mar 2012
Messages
4
Hi I work for First Bus and I'm wondering if this is detrimental to my applications to work with First Scotrail. I have heard many rumours that they don't like employing bus drivers because of their attitude!

My first thoughts were that it could be a possibility but then I thought it could just be a load of miffed bus drivers talking to each other about how they failed to get a job on the railway and blamed it on the fact that they were bus drivers!

Anyone know if it's true or not? Maybe you've worked for First Bus and then got a job as a conductor/trainee driver? I'd love to hear from you!!

I have currently had 3 applications for trainee driver return as unsuccessful and have worked really hard on my application - obviously I can't just expect an interview just because I think my application is half decent but I was hoping at least to get invited along for an assessment.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Plugin

New Member
Joined
21 Mar 2012
Messages
4
Hey, thanks for the reply francis. After writing my question I logged onto HR Smart and seen that my application status had changed from "awaiting shortlisting" to "successful after shortlisting - on hold" - not quite sure if that means they have had too many applications and are keeping me on file for future jobs that may arise OR if it means that I am still in with a shout for an assessment day etc but they are really busy at the moment and I've just to bear with them.

Any ideas?
 

455driver

Veteran Member
Joined
10 May 2010
Messages
11,332
I know quite a few ex bus drivers and it seems to help with getting on the railways (didnt do me any harm) as you are used to shift work, dealing with passengers, thinking on your feet, stress etc.

I have heard (this was a few years ago when bus companies were struggling to get drivers so has probably changed recently) that First group dont like extracting from their own bus companies though as it means the bus side will have to train a replacement when you go onto the trains but had no problem taking from other bus companies.
 

142094

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Messages
8,789
Location
Newcastle
I've been told that in some cases it can be difficult to go from bus to rail franchises (but depends on what you do in the company). The simple reason is that they might lose the rail franchise, so you'd transfer over to the new company, but if you stick to buses, then it is likely you'll stay with them.
 

W230

Established Member
Joined
6 Jan 2012
Messages
1,204
There were loads of bus drivers at the assessment day I had with FCC. I would think it stands you in good stead.
 

302PS

Member
Joined
1 Mar 2012
Messages
616
I was wondering this recently, iv applied to Metrolink
And currently work for stagecoach who recently terminated their involvement with Metrolink for reasons I don't quite understand
 

BestWestern

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2011
Messages
6,736
Just to add my tuppence worth, I drove for a FirstGroup subsidiary company and it certainly seemed to stand me in good stead when I applied for a Guard position at a fellow First rail franchise. As far as I'm aware the reference checking followed the usual, standard process but I certainly felt that already being inside the company had helped.
 

Loey

Member
Joined
27 Jan 2012
Messages
15
I've no idea about this, and can only speak as someone who has to use services provided by First Bus regularly.

Sorry, but I have to say that in my experience, their drivers are the most unhelpful and ill-informed people I have ever encountered working in "customer service".

They appear to have no interest whatsoever in their jobs and seem to take pride in making the process of getting on a bus and paying for a ticket the most painful experience possible.

Yes - overly negative I know, and we all complain at one time or another, but they really are a miserable bunch.

No idea if it affects any job applications, but if I were ever to be in a position of hiring anyone, seeing the words "First" and "Bus" anywhere on a CV would result in said CV occupying the bottom of the nearest bin..........
 

142094

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Messages
8,789
Location
Newcastle
Stagecoach apparently has a staff turnover rate of 15% per year, which seems quite high. I wouldn't be suprised if First have a similar percentage for bus drivers.
 

BestWestern

Established Member
Joined
6 Feb 2011
Messages
6,736
Stagecoach apparently has a staff turnover rate of 15% per year, which seems quite high. I wouldn't be suprised if First have a similar percentage for bus drivers.
Sadly most of the main operators suffer from exceptionally high staff turnover, largely due to people becoming thoroughly demoralised and sick of the job, which is really very sad. What is sadder still is that these firms appear to be quite content to foster such poor morale and see staff come and go with alarming frequency. It is relatively cheap to train somebody up to PCV standards and because of the constant turnover most large depots have a permanent driving school outfit. Anybody gaining a PCV as part of their initial employment will generally be required to sign a bond tying them to a year or two of working for the firm to ensure they get a return on their investment.

For a long time some of the major groups were quite literally 'importing' eastern European drivers, via agencies who charged per head, because this was preferable to actually doing something to address the bleak situation which has for decades left many operators permanently short of drivers. I worked with some of these guys, and whilst most of them were decent blokes the training they received was horrendous. Some could barely speak English - very selectively in a few cases - and they were pretty much sent straight out onto the roads, with little grasp of their routes and virtually no ability whatsoever to deal with passengers. That pretty much tells you what some of these firms think of both their staff and their customers. Very much a belief that those who travel by bus have little choice and those who drive them have little chance of a job elsewhere, and so both will put up with complete crap.

The tragedy is that bus driving can actually be a very enjoyable job, but much of the talented workforce will eventually seek employment elsewhere, in a role offering pay which matches the demands of the task in hand and respect from the employer, both of which are sorely lacking in many bus depots. Thankfully, in some fortunate parts of the country there are some truly excellent outfits, both large and small, who are bucking the trend. If only somebody would point it out to all the others! :cry:
 
Last edited:

notadriver

Established Member
Joined
1 Oct 2010
Messages
3,294
I think it's an excellent route in but you will be up against a *lot* of other applicants. The high salary of train driving attracts people with management experience, with qualifications etc. You'll also be up against people already in the industry with railway experience such as conductors or platform staff or shunters. At my depot out of about 150 only 4 I know of are ex-bus drivers. I'm a coach driver myself.
 

142094

Established Member
Joined
7 Nov 2009
Messages
8,789
Location
Newcastle
Sadly most of the main operators suffer from exceptionally high staff turnover, largely due to people becoming thoroughly demoralised and sick of the job, which is really very sad. What is sadder still is that these firms appear to be quite content to foster such poor morale and see staff come and go with alarming frequency. It is relatively cheap to train somebody up to PCV standards and because of the constant turnover most large depots have a permanent driving school outfit. Anybody gaining a PCV as part of their initial employment will generally be required to sign a bond tying them to a year or two of working for the firm to ensure they get a return on their investment.

For a long time some of the major groups were quite literally 'importing' eastern European drivers, via agencies who charged per head, because this was preferable to actually doing something to address the bleak situation which has for decades left many operators permanently short of drivers. I worked with some of these guys, and whilst most of them were decent blokes the training they received was horrendous. Some could barely speak English - very selectively in a few cases - and they were pretty much sent straight out onto the roads, with little grasp of their routes and virtually no ability whatsoever to deal with passengers. That pretty much tells you what some of these firms think of both their staff and their customers. Very much a belief that those who travel by bus have little choice and those who drive them have little chance of a job elsewhere, and so both will put up with complete crap.

The tragedy is that bus driving can actually be a very enjoyable job, but much of the talented workforce will eventually seek employment elsewhere, in a role offering pay which matches the demands of the task in hand and respect from the employer, both of which are sorely lacking in many bus depots. Thankfully, in some fortunate parts of the country there are some truly excellent outfits, both large and small, who are bucking the trend. If only somebody would point it out to all the others! :cry:
That's an excellent post - I'm not as familiar with the workings of the bus industry as I am with railways, but as someone who has used buses nearly everyday for the past 15 years, I certainly can see what you're saying is correct. It probably isn't helped by the fact that, in many areas, that bus company may be the only one, and so to change companies may involve relocation or differing working practices.

Go North East had some Eastern European workers a few years back and they were getting complaints from passengers - mainly due to the fact they didn't know the routes well enough, and couldn't speak English to a decent level. In one case I was told about, someone who was on board had to tell them which way to go as they didn't know the route.

On the other hand, I used York Pullman quite often for around 3 years, and the difference between them and First was phenomenal. No-one cared that they had older bus stock, but the fact that the staff were so friendly and seemed to enjoy what they were doing put them above First on routes where they were in direct competition. Indeed, I used to let First buses go past just so I could get on a Pullman one.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top