Industry struggles to attract youngsters

People 1st’s latest research insight report suggests the number of older workers in the bus and coach industry is disproportionally high in comparison to the wider economy. It found 58% of employees are aged 50 or over. The report also reveals an opposite trend with regards to young workers with only 7% of the sector’s workers under 30, compared to 24% in the economy as a whole.

Executive Director at People 1st, Martin-Christian Kent noted that with the abolishment of a mandatory retirement age, the bus and coach workforce is likely to continue to age. While this will help alleviate the existing recruitment problems in the short term, concerns have been raised around perceptions about passengers’ safety and operating companies increased liabilities. Many operators have turned to migrant labour to help address recruitment problems, with 15% of the current workforce born outside of the UK.

Martin-Christian said, ‘Attracting young people to the industry has traditionally been a challenge, especially given the minimum age restrictions to drive passenger carrying vehicles and the cost of insuring younger drivers. For many roles, typically school leavers looking for employment won’t be able to enter either the bus or coach industry until they are at least 21 and are generally forced to consider different career options. With only 18% women employees in the industry, there is a real opportunity to recruit more female workers, into both operational and engineering roles. Some operators are already working to attract women into the industry and have successfully used the Women 1st programme ‘Step on the Bus’ to hire committed and talented drivers.’ Visit to see the full report.

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