Back in 2018 Bakers Dolphin launched its own training programme in a bid to tackle the nationwide driver shortage. It is now reaping the rewards with 12 drivers graduating and going out on the road.
The operator, which celebrated its 130th anniversary last year, decided to take matters into its own hands when trying to recruit drivers.
Managing Director Max Fletcher says: “The industry has struggled with a national shortage of drivers for some years now, so we decided to try to actively do something positive about it.
“Research revealed that a key reason behind the shortage was an ageing workforce, with too few new drivers coming on board to replace those who were retiring or moving to other careers.
“Younger candidates were put off by the cost of acquiring a Category D licence, so we launched our own driver training school, through which we fund these costs.
“There has been an excellent response, and we are delighted that a dozen new drivers recently passed their PCV tests and are now fully licenced and able to drive our coaches.”
Michael Blowers, National Coach Tour Driver of the Year at the British Coach Tourism Awards in 2018, says: “I hope the fact that Bakers Dolphin is willing to pay to put drivers through their training, so that they can get the Category D licence, will encourage many more people to consider a career as a coach driver.”