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Bakers Dolphin to launch coach driver training school

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Written by: The Business | Posted 23 April 2018 16:37

Bakers Dolphin to launch coach driver training school

West Country-based coach tour operator Bakers Dolphin is taking action to address a national shortage of drivers within the industry.

The company, based in Weston-super-Mare, is launching its own coach driver training school in a bid to encourage more people to consider a career behind the wheel.

With an ageing workforce research shows there are not enough new drivers being trained to replace those who are retiring or moving to other careers, with younger candidates being put off by the cost of acquiring a PCV (passenger-carrying vehicle)  driving licence and the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC).

But Bakers Dolphin says it will fund the training required for drivers to earn their PCV licence in the  attract new recruits.

Read more: South West businesses struggling to hire workers with 'specialist skills'

Michael Blowers, who recently scooped Coach Tour Driver of the Year and is spear-heading the training programme, has been appointed training co-ordinator at Bakers Dolphin.

He joined the firm in May 2008 after discovering a love for coach driving while working as a driving instructor.

He said: “Being a coach driver is an absolutely fascinating job where no two days are the same. It really suits someone who loves driving, and loves getting on with people.

“There’s a huge variety of work, from school contract jobs through to UK tours and European tours, including driving our superb, top-of-the-range coaches.

“Bakers Dolphin always tries to put people on the work that suits the individual driver, and I personally love the UK tour work.”

“The very best part of the job is meeting and dealing with the customers, and doing whatever I can to ensure they have a great day out or holiday, which starts from the moment they step on board the vehicle.”

Michael said he was excited by his new role in helping to train and develop the next generation of drivers.

Read more: Bakers Dolphin celebrates 290 years of employee service

“I hope the fact that Bakers Dolphin is willing to pay to put drivers through their training, so that they can get the highly valued PCV licence, will encourage many more people to consider a career as a coach driver. If you’re a people person, it really is a very enjoyable way to earn a living, and promises many miles of smiles.”

Max Fletcher, managing director of Bakers Dolphin, said: “The industry has struggled with a national shortage of drivers for some years now, so we decided to try to actively do something positive about it.”

“Hopefully a combination of us funding the training, together with an opportunity for people to learn from one of the best drivers in the business, will inspire them to consider coach driving as a career.”

Bakers Dolphin currently has vacancies for coach and bus drivers and is willing to offer flexible, full or part-time employment to fit in with candidate’s needs.

If you are interested in becoming a Bakers Dolphin coach driver  contact Derek Forbes on 01934 415000 or visit bakersdolphin.com.

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