We're on a mission to recruit and train women bus drivers

1 month ago Fri 8th Mar 2024

Go Cornwall Bus plans to recruit more women drivers, aiming for 50% gender equality by 2035

  • Go Cornwall Bus supports a nationwide campaign to achieve 50% gender equality by 2035
  • The campaign is a joint effort for parent company, The Go-Ahead Group and all its bus companies
  • The Group plans to invest £8 million to create inclusive environments and training opportunities
  • New recruits will receive eight weeks of fully paid training estimated to be an investment of £7.5 million in total

Today, Go Cornwall Bus announces the launch of an exciting new campaign to attract and recruit women drivers across its bus operations in Cornwall.

With the ‘Go-Ahead Women’ initiative, Go Cornwall Bus is embarking on a mission with the Go-Ahead Group and all its bus companies, to achieve 50% gender equality by 2035, marking a significant step in the traditionally male dominated transport sector.

Recognising the need for greater representation, Go-Ahead is also investing £8 million in upgrading bus depot facilities which includes work to create inclusive working environments where women colleagues have opportunities, feel supported and empowered to thrive.

Richard Stevens Managing Director said “We have a tremendous team of highly skilled women bus drivers in our team; some of the finest in the industry. I want to employ even more and hope that we can inspire women across Devon and Cornwall through this campaign to take a serious look at becoming a bus driver, it is a wonderful way to earn a good living in a company that cares about all people.”

According to recent data from Women in Bus and Coach, women make up 10% of the workforce in the bus industry. At present, 11.5% of bus driver roles are occupied by women within Go-Ahead's bus companies and the group is outlining its commitment on International Women’s Day to bridge this gender gap to achieve true gender diversity by 2035.

In addition to the recruitment drive, new hires will benefit from a comprehensive 8-week fully paid training program, designed to equip them with the skills and confidence needed to excel in their roles. This initiative underscores Go-Ahead's commitment to lead the industry in nurturing talent and providing equal opportunities for career advancement.

Matt Carney, Bus CEO for Go-Ahead said: "Gender equality isn't just a goal – it's a commitment to building a better future for all. By setting an ambitious target to achieve 50% gender parity by 2035 and investing £8 million to support women drivers in their work environment, we are taking decisive steps to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace."

Carolyn Ferguson, Chief People Officer for the Go-Ahead Group said: "We firmly believe that diversity drives innovation and success. We’re investing in training and development opportunities for women drivers, and by doing this we’re not only enriching our workforce but also paving the way for a more sustainable and inclusive future."

Anyone interested in being a bus driver can view Go-Ahead’s vacancies across the UK here

Following a number of concerns we have received following the launch of the campaign, we would like to confirm that the Go Ahead Women campaign has been created and delivered to address the well documented underrepresentation of women in the bus industry.

Currently, only 12% of bus drivers in Go Ahead are women. In order to encourage and demonstrate that a career as a bus driver is open to both men and women, we are looking to boost the participation of women into applying for roles as bus drivers. The suggestion that we are looking to treat men unfavourably is not at all the case here.

By encouraging greater participation of women to apply for a role as a bus driver, this will see a wider pool of potentially talented drivers from which to recruit but not at the expense of men.

Our aim is for gender equality in terms of numbers of bus drivers by 2035. Diversity in our industry will reflect the communities we serve, given over 50% of the population are women, and we believe our work force should reflect that.

We welcome applications from all genders (not just men) and, indeed, those who have other protected characteristics.