Making the way for a greener future, all of the bus operators involved have been focusing on upgrading technology in their new fleets to help reduce carbon emissions and environmental impact. Arriva, First and Transdev have taken the next step, joining forces to enable the necessary growth of public transport to meet important environmental targets and tackle the Climate Change Emergencies declared within the region. With the transport sector facing the crisis of an ageing workforce – most UK transport workers are aged in the 45-54 age bracket – a pipeline of young, skilled workers is needed to facilitate the future of public transport, and the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance’s education programme is making a key intervention to address the skills gap.
Stephanie Burras CBE, chief executive at Ahead Partnership, said: “The first year of our programme with the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance has been a huge success and pays testament to the exciting range of opportunities that the transport sector has to offer.
“The ageing workforce is a big challenge for public transport, so right now is a pivotal time in making sure that we protect the future of a sector that will only become more important in society’s efforts to tackle climate change and meet net zero. We’re looking forward to continuing our work with the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance to equip young people with knowledge and enthusiasm for the sector over the next year.”
Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “Encouraging more young people to travel on, and work in, public transport is one of the keys to achieving our vision for the future of travel in West Yorkshire and this programme is playing an important role in raising awareness of the exciting opportunities there are in this sector.
“I am very proud of the work the West Yorkshire Bus Alliance, working with Ahead Partnership, is doing in this area and look forward to seeing the programme grow further over the next year.”
Building upon the impressive success of its first year, 46% of young people who participated in the careers panels said that they would now consider a role in the transport sector, the programme is now launching its second Bus to the Future marketing challenge and Youth Voice Forums, which enable virtual networks of young people to advise on and help shape upcoming plans and policy.