BUS AND COACH: A greying workforce

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1 BUS AND COACH: A greying workforce

2

3 A greying workforce The workforce in the bus and coach industry is ageing, but does this merely reflect demographic changes or is it a result of the difficulties of attracting younger workers? The highest proportion of bus and coach drivers are aged between 60 and 64; some 20% of all bus and coach drivers, compared to just 5% of the workforce across the economy as a whole. Age of workforce (%) 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 16-19yrs 20-24yrs 25-29yrs 30-34yrs 35-39yrs 40-44yrs 45-49yrs 50-54yrs 55-59yrs 60-64yrs 65-69yrs 70 and over Source: People 1st This shows just how much bus and coach industries are relying on an older workforce. Even among younger age groups, the number of older workers is disproportionally high, with 58% of employees aged 50 or over, compared to 29% across the whole economy. Likewise, younger workers are seldom found in this industry, with only 7% of workers under 30 compared to 24% in the economy as a whole. 3

4 Why are we relying on an older workforce? These figures reflect the high retention rates in the bus and coach industries and the difficulties of recruiting young people. Labour turnover stands at 14% in the coach industry and 10% in the bus. While higher than the average across the passenger transport industry (7%), this is relatively low compared to some sectors such as hospitality which stands at 21%. Retaining staff is important to many businesses given the difficulty of filling job vacancies. Figures suggest that 12% of bus and coach employers have hardto-fill vacancies compared to just 5% of employers across the economy as a whole. So why is there such a problem? The lack of clear development pathways into the bus and coach industries has traditionally been problem, with many people entering as a second or third career. Attracting young people in particular has been difficult given the minimum age restrictions to drive passenger carrying vehicles and the cost of insuring younger drivers. As a result, traditional career guidance and vocational courses in colleges are largely irrelevant to the bus and coach industries. Similarly, the apprenticeship model, which other sectors successfully use to attract and develop young people, has had a limited impact in helping bus and coach operators recruit. What are the implications of employing an older workforce? Figures from the Office for National Statistics suggest that 10 million people in the UK are over 65 years old and the latest projections are for 5.5 million older people by 2033, rising to around 19 million by In 2011, the mandatory retirement age was phased out and most people can work as long as they wish. Employers cannot discriminate against anyone who does not wish to retire, but they may be able to set a compulsory retirement age if they can justify it. 2 On one level, the changes to the retirement age help employers retain staff, which in turn has helped alleviate the existing recruitment problems operators in both industries face, and some 9% of bus and coach drivers are now over 65. However, some employers have raised safety concerns around the age of drivers and the possible liability they face around passenger safety. 1 The ageing population, Richard Cracknell, House of Commons Research, ( ) 4

5 Attracting and recruiting the next generation While the workforce is likely to continue to age due to staff retention and demographic trends, the bus and coach industries need to look at recruiting their next generation of staff. Many operators will likely turn to migrant labour to help address recruitment problems; this is already happening, with 15% of the bus and coach industries workforce born outside of the UK. Yet this is not the only answer. Given only 18% of the bus and coach industries workforce are women, there is plenty of scope to target more women to enter to the workforce. Some operators are doing this through the Women 1st campaign, which is run by People 1st. Step on the Bus by Women 1st Operator trentbarton has successfully used the Women 1st programme, Step on the Bus, to attract women into the industry and hire much-needed committed and talented drivers. Miranda Anderson joined the Women 1st Step on the Bus programme in August 2011 following an extended period of not working. The programme gave her not only the driving and business skills she needed, but also the selfconfidence that ultimately helped her secure a full-time job with trentbarton. Having seen an advertisement on the internet, Miranda enrolled in the programme and successfully completed the Step on the Bus course. She then went on to do a work placement with trentbarton where her dedication to the job and her solid work ethic impressed the managers so much that they offered Miranda a full-time job. Step on the Bus includes four weeks of industry-specific training to help women complete the CPC (Certificate of Professional Competence) and provides career development training to boost confidence and business skills. Talking of her current role, Miranda says that the programme gave her the confidence to drive any route required and cover for drivers who are ill or on holiday. The job guarantees at least 39 hours of work a week and her work ethic means Miranda is very happy to be kept busy! 5

6 Advertising on the Careers that Move ( co.uk) web portal provides another opportunity to fill vacancies and promote career opportunities in both industries. Careers that Move provides information on career pathways, the diversity of roles available industries within the passenger transport sector, and the potential to progress into higher levels. It also provides a recruitment solution that gives employers access to a pool of jobseekers dedicated to finding a career in passenger transport and travel. Going forward, many employers see apprenticeships as an important way to develop future talent and help progression into higher skilled roles, despite the age restrictions and barriers for young people found in both industries. There are currently significant changes taking place with apprenticeships in England. Bus and coach operators are at the cutting age of these developments as they are working together to develop apprenticeship standards across a number of occupations, which will help equip the future workforce with the skills operators demand. For more information: Careers that move CareersthatMove.co.uk showcases the diverse and exciting career opportunities available in passenger transport and travel. Developed by People 1st, the portal brings together individuals, employers, career advisors and training providers to simplify information and to improve the reputation of the sector. By showcasing passenger transport and travel careers in one place, Careers that Move is able to represent the roles that form the passenger experience ; from travel agents and tour operators to bus drivers and airline pilots. The portal provides information on career pathways, the diversity of the industry and the potential to progress, while also providing a recruitment solution that gives employers access to a pool of jobseekers dedicated to finding a career in passenger transport and travel. Sign up to advertise and access jobseekers CVs online for free at 6

7 Women 1st Women 1st aims to help women achieve their career ambitions and increase the number of women in senior roles in the tourism and visitor economy sector. It has already helped over 1,000 women through dedicated mentoring and training. It provides a bespoke consultancy service for businesses that want to improve gender balance, including audits, evaluations and workshops. It also runs the celebrated Shine Awards shining a light on the women that are making a difference in the passenger transport sector. Apprenticeships Apprenticeships are an important learning and development pathway for individuals wishing to build a career in our industries. They are a cost effective way to recruit and train employees and provide apprentices with the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to become competent in their chosen profession. About People 1st People 1st is the skills and workforce development charity for employers in the hospitality, tourism, leisure, travel, passenger transport and retail industries. For more research and policy insight reports and to find out how we can help support your recruitment, training and talent management, visit wwww.people1st.co.uk E W Member of:

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