I was recently reading the article reporting on Greater Manchester’s youngest bus driver, 18-year-old Jamie Jackson from Stagecoach Wigan.
Many readers and commentators seem to be shocked that someone so young can drive a PCV, wrongly assuming that you must be over 21 years old to obtain a category D licence.
Given that the routeone team has been monitoring the progress of our Driver Academy since its inception in 2018, it’s long been espoused that bus driving is a very real and attainable career option for young people wishing to get started in the industry.
Tyrers drivers Sean Darcy (pictured in an Optare Versa hybrid having returned from his first solo duty) and Harry Taylor (in the Scania OmniCity double-decker driving through Bury) both entered our training programme aged 18. Both passed their driving tests on their first attempts, more than a week ahead of schedule, with just one and four driving faults respectively.
Many companies will steer well clear of inexperience, but that inexperience can prove to be a huge advantage when moulding new drivers. Young people often come with an unparalleled willingness to learn, without the need to break the deep-rooted habits of a time-served driver.
While recruiting young drivers doesn’t come without its problems, it is incredibly rewarding to be able to provide opportunities for enthusiastic young people to embark on a career and prove their worth in what is a traditionally more mature industry – especially at a point in their life when many of their friends don’t yet have a car licence!
Training and Operations Support Manager