A Ukrainian evacuee has become the first to complete training to drive for Brighton & Hove Buses as part of an initiative developed in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions.
Volodymyr Syrotiuk, who was driving heavy goods vehicles near Kyiv before the onset of the Russian invasion of his country in 2022, settled in Brighton following government relaxation of settlement and work status for Ukrainian citizens.
Go-Ahead subsidiary Brighton & Hove started taking steps to hire Ukrainians in November 2022. While the government eased the process of exchanging a Ukrainian driving license for a British one, Go-Ahead introduced a new company policy and launched a training programme for refugees.
Ed Wills, Managing Director of Brighton & Hove Buses, says: “We’re extremely happy to welcome Volodymyr to the team. As a company we can offer jobs to people from Ukraine who are looking to rebuild a more peaceful life. I hope this is the first of many to come, and that we continue to be able to help more refugees like Volodymyr find work and security in the UK.”
Mr Syrotiuk adds: “I like it here in the UK. I have my family here and see them quite a lot, I have a daughter that finished university this summer as an architect, it’s made settling into the country easier. I’d encourage my friends from Ukraine to come here, and to seriously consider being a bus driver like me. I get to be in a position where I’m responsible for 80 people for every journey and it’s satisfying.”