Young newcomer swaps the rugby field for the bus driving seat

As reported previously by Huddersfield Times, bus companies locally and nationally are facing a huge shortage of bus drivers.

Here at HT – we want to try and do our bit to help! This is the first in a series of articles

Meet Liam Buffet – the former rugby player who’s kicked dull desk-bound days at work into touch to enjoy the finest office views in Yorkshire!

Former Castleford Tigers Under 19s rugby forward Liam, 20, says he is loving his new job with bus firm Team Pennine – and he’s supporting a new drive to attract more newcomers to discover the joys of life on the open road.

Liam, from Halifax, joined the bus company’s team in February, after working in an office and for two supermarket chains left him feeling less than inspired.

But all that has now changed and after retraining as a bus driver in just seven weeks, Liam is supporting Team Pennine’s campaign to introduce others looking to switch career to a new start behind the wheel.

Liam says: “Along with playing rugby for Castleford Tigers Under 19s and in the reserves for the main side, I went to work in an average office admin job for an engineering firm, but I didn’t feel like I was going anywhere with it.

“All that changed for the better when I joined Team Pennine – I now have better pay and prospects, in a job I really enjoy and working as part of a great team.

“As someone who enjoys driving and meeting people, becoming a bus driver was the right move for me, and it’s something people from all walks of life can do. You could say I gave it a try and was converted!

“Rugby is a team game, just like being part of Team Pennine – everyone at our Elland depot is very friendly and they’ve helped make this career change happen for me. And these days I have some of the best views in Yorkshire through my mobile office window!”

Team Pennine General Manager Joy Devine says Liam’s story shows how people from all walks of life can make the switch to a new career as a bus driver.

Joy says: “Liam has all the people skills we look for in a newcomer to Team Pennine – he’s great at looking after our customers, and his achievement in gaining his driving qualification in seven weeks shows the way for others to follow.

“Our recruitment campaign’s key message is ‘I did it – so could you’ – and Liam’s successful transition to becoming a driver with us shows how true those words really are.

“We’re always on the lookout for new drivers to join our team at our Elland depot near Halifax or at Waterloo in Huddersfield. We hold regular recruitment events where potential candidates can try taking the wheel of one of our buses – and more details are available on our website.”

Full details of job opportunities at Team Pennine and parent firm Transdev’s other bus companies across Yorkshire and the North West are on its website at transdevbus.co.uk/makeyourmark.

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