17-year-old Tobi Dekker on road to a dream career with Belle Vue

Tobi Dekker

Teenager Tobi Dekker has moved one step closer to fulfilling a dream career in the bus industry after he was offered a full time job at Belle Vue Manchester – before he had even left school.

17-year-old Tobi was first offered the chance to work part-time at Belle Vue after passing his contact details to a driver while travelling to and from his school in Stockport.

Company bosses were soon impressed after he demonstrated “encyclopaedic knowledge” of the company’s school routes, and before long Tobi was assisting the Belle Vue operations team by updating route guides for drivers with more landmarks.

Tobi was given a full-time job with Belle Vue as a Transport Consultant after completing his GCSEs last year. In the new role he is involved in route planning, training drivers in the use of digital ticket machines and destination blinds, reconciling fare income and ticket sales, and running the lost property store.

Tobi eventually hopes to become a driver himself. “He’s got bags of passion and desire,” says Belle Vue Managing Director Phil Hitchen. “I’ve never met anyone his age with such ability and knowledge of buses.

“I had no hesitation in offering him a full-time job before he had even left school. We have very high hopes for him and look forward to seeing him progress with us to fulfil his great potential.”

Adds Tobi: “Since I was six or seven I’ve been taking buses to and from school, and got so interested in them that bus spotting became my hobby. I’d travel all around taking photos.

“I just love the bus industry and knew I wanted to work in it. I knew I had to start somewhere, so I was lucky enough to get a part-time job at Belle Vue when I was in Year 10 at school.

“When Phil offered me the full-time role I was thrilled to bits. I’m loving every minute, learning about the industry and helping the company to develop and grow. There’s a real family feel to Belle Vue and everyone is really friendly and helpful. Phil and the team have all been brilliant.

“When I pass my driving test and turn 18, I can apply for a bus licence. I’d also like to move into management in the industry, so the opportunity at Belle Vue is just what I wanted.”

This is not the first time Belle Vue has helped young people develop their careers. Others include Reece Deakins, who joined as a school leaver and eventually became Garage Supervisor. Other apprentices with the business have won national awards.

“We are committed to developing talented young professionals in the industry,” Phil adds.