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Team Of New Bus Drivers Are Now Behind The Wheel Thanks To A Local Employment Scheme

Above: McGill's six new drivers that have qualified celebrate with Ri, The Trust and David Taylor of McGill's (furthest right). Picture Courtesy of George Munro/Greenock Telegraph.

A team of new bus drivers are now behind the wheel thanks to a local employment scheme. Six local men who were out of work secured a place on the eight-week programme and are now on board at McGill's Buses.

The project involves Inverclyde Council, Riverside Inverclyde and the Community Development Trust working alongside McGills.

David Taylor, depot manager for McGill's, said:

"It's turned out very well for everyone. The trainees have been an absolute pleasure to work with, and I hope we can get more in the future."

Bus driver Arthur Keane, 59, says the training course was just the ticket after he lost his last job. Arthur, from Gibshill, previously had a go at being a bus driver in 2010 but ran out of funds.

Arthur said:

"I had been working in the building trade then I became unemployed last Christmas. This opportunity came along with the Trust, and it's been a great experience.

"This time the scheme was paid through the partnership, and I can't thank them enough."

Kevin Millar, a Senior Employer Engagement worker with Inverclyde Community Development Trust, said:

"This is a joint public-private, and third sector initiative and the success of this programme is further evidence of the positive impact of partnership working and investment in providing unemployed Inverclyde residents access to the industry recognised training that helps secure sustainable employment.

"Working collaboratively with McGill's Buses, we have developed a tailored eight-week sector-specific training model that creates a local talent pool to meet business recruitment needs and training requirements.

"This not only presents a life-changing opportunity for individuals but also contributes towards broader social and economic benefits in Inverclyde.

"We wish all our trainees well and are confident that they will prove to be much-valued additions to the driving staff at McGills."

Andrew Bowman, Head of Business Investment at Riverside Inverclyde, said:

"This is the second sector specific course Ri has worked with an employer, The Trust and Inverclyde Council following the success of the W H Malcolm scheme in June 2017.

"We've been able to build on the success of that pilot and introduce a driving programme with McGill's, creating employment for Inverclyde residents and providing some answer to the current driver shortage across Scotland and the UK."

For more information, please contact Kevin Millar or Andrew Bowman.

This article and picture appeared in the Greenock Telegraph on 12 December 2018.

Published: 13 December 2018