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Ever thought of being a bus driver? Metrobus launches film going behind the scenes as they look to recruit more drivers

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Brighton & Hove and Metrobus’ drivers share their stories about what it’s really like to drive a bus in a new film aimed at recruiting more drivers. 

It’s a peek behind the scenes of a driver’s typical day, beginning with daily vehicle checks, driving different bus routes, socialising in the canteen and paying-in at the end of the day.  

In it, drivers discuss how they feel about their jobs and the benefits of becoming a driver, like good pay, pension and holidays; job security; social life; a varied workday and independence.   

Whitehawk driver and driver mentor Elisa Harkness said she agreed to take part in the film because she wanted to give people an insider’s view on what the job was like. 

“No two days are the same, driving in and around Brighton and Crawley you get to see the real culture of both places,” Elisa said. “The work life is good fun and our fellow drivers are great. I’ve loved meeting so many new people.” 

Elisa said drivers were ‘fully supported’ from day one of the six weeks’ paid training. When they’d qualified and were out on the road, there was always someone to ask for help or advice. 

The film helps launch the bus company’s upcoming recruitment events, two of which are aimed specifically at women, as part of the company’s Women Behind the Wheel campaign.   

Training Department Co-ordinator Paul Waite said:

“Right from the outset, we wanted our drivers to talk about their jobs – rather than getting actors or scripting it – to give it a natural feeling. We made it as honest as possible.  

“We covered as many possible aspects of a driver’s daily role and chosen a cross-section of drivers that people could relate to.”  

Elisa summed up the main message behind the film, which is to give bus driving a try:

“Go for it! It’s a chance worth taking. I’ve met some of the most incredible people on my journey and I’m only five years in. It’s flown by.” 

Metrobus’ Managing Director Martin Harris said:

“This film gives a real sense of who we are and what it’s like to work here. Our drivers put their hearts and souls into what they do and that’s what we look for when we take people on: that spark and that realisation that we are about much more than getting people from A to B. 

“Yes, we want people with good driving skills, but they also need to be good communicators and to want to serve our communities.” 

Martin said the company was particularly keen to employ as diverse a workforce as possible. For example, the company has a target of women making up at least 20% of its colleagues by 2024. 

You can watch the film here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA4K6vrYT1o&feature=youtube  

To find out more about bus driving careers: https://www.metrobus.co.uk/driver-vacancies/

Education

Crawley student crowned winner of national STEM competition

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A student from St Wilfrid’s Catholic Comprehensive School has been named winner in the Senior category of the Youth Industrial Strategy Competition, a national science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) initiative, supported by UK Research and Innovation, aimed at finding solutions to the greatest challenges facing modern society.

Claiming first prize, year 13 student, Rushil Patel, presented a project that uses offline artificial intelligence to accurately process a specific object or event in the world around the user, conveying limitless information in the most discrete way possible. Addressing the Grand Challenge of Artificial Intelligence and Data, the young inventor hopes it can help people with Autism not only identify, but also respond to perceived emotions.

Judged remotely by a panel of STEM experts, including representatives from Network Rail; AI architects, Arm; and Manchester Metropolitan University, Rushil was awarded first place thanks to his creativity and innovative way of addressing the Industrial Strategy’s Grand Challenge of Artificial Intelligence and Data.

Rushil, student at St Wilfrid’s Catholic Comprehensive School said:

“I am thrilled to have won the Senior category at the Youth Industrial Strategy competition. I really enjoyed working on our project and it was great to have the judges recognise the hard work and creativity that went into it.

“This competition has provided me with a great opportunity to get creative with my learning and it was incredibly rewarding to work on a project that could help solve one of the most pressing social issues today.”

With the live finals event cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the competition organisers, the British Science Association and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) asked schools to create videos of students presenting their finished projects and the information they’d been planning to share with judges.

Rushil and his teachers have worked incredibly hard to help enable the remote judging, especially at such a challenging time for schools and families across the UK and deserve special credit for their efforts.

Tom Saunders, Head of Public Engagement at UKRI, said:

“As this AI communications device shows, today’s students have an important part to play in addressing society’s biggest challenges. I would like to congratulate Rushil on his fantastic winning project and wish all the finalists every continued success in the future.”

Caitlin Brown, Project Manager for the Youth Industrial Strategy Competition, said:

“The judges commended Rushil for his hard work, dedication and commitment to STEM. He thoroughly deserves to be crowned our Youth Industrial Strategy Competition Senior winner.

“We are thrilled with the level of engagement and interest we have received around the Youth Industrial Strategy Competition, and are excited to see all these students, and more, continue to develop their love of STEM.”

The winners and runners up were selected from thousands of students, aged between 11-19 years, from across the UK, who designed projects responding to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s four Grand Challenges: the Future of Mobility, Ageing Society, Clean Growth and Artificial Intelligence and Data.

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