A Driving Thirst for Knowledge
Working behind a desk in the UK wasn’t sitting right with Sue Kirsopp and she fancied a change. Luckily, a chance encounter driving home one day changed her career outlook. “Funnily enough, I was following a bus and saw an advertisement for becoming a bus driver on the back. So I thought I’d give them a ring and that was that,” says Sue.
The training programme has made me both a better driver and better person.
After immigrating to Auckland, where she continued to hone her skills, Sue moved to the Waikato and has just completed a National Certificate in Passenger Service - Urban Bus Driver (Level 3) through her employer Go Bus. “Go Bus are great to work for,” she says. “They generously support and invest in their staff with additional training which makes them an incredibly attractive employer.”
This commitment to driver education sees Go Bus reward their top 10 performing drivers each year with the opportunity to undertake MITO’s National Certificate in Passenger Service. This incentive scheme includes a robust selection process, and has seen over 100 drivers complete the qualification to date.
“I was delighted to have been chosen to do the National Certificate,” says Sue. “Obviously Go Bus only accept a certain number of employees into the programme each year, so to have been given the opportunity to complete it was a great compliment.”
Sue’s supervisor and trainer Dave Cox, sums up her performance in one word – excellent. “She’s got a great personality and is wonderful with customers. Her relaxed style, along with her top driving skills, made her an obvious choice for the programme.”
“I really do enjoy my job,” says Sue, “and I love the face to face interaction I have with people every day. I believe the training programme has made me both a better driver and better person as I’m now more patient and understanding and more aware of other users on the road.”
Sue is strongly in favour of getting qualified, noting that it emphasises the responsibilities of her role. “The fact you are dealing with the general public is, in my opinion, what makes getting qualified all the more important, and the training programmes really reinforce the safety aspects of the job.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Dave. “In today’s climate I think it’s vitally important to have a qualification, and hold the industry to a high standard. In my experience, businesses are now preferring those with qualifications over those with practical driving experience and I think that recognition speaks volumes about its positive impact on the industry.”
It’s an industry that offers plenty of opportunities and career pathways, and according to Dave, Sue is someone who will continue to do well and progress further. “We identified quite early on that there are areas within the company that Sue could move in to should she wish. There is certainly scope for her to progress through the ranks!”
Sue has entertained the idea herself. “I’d quite like to become a qualified driving instructor or tutor one day so I could pass on my own knowledge and experience to colleagues. But for now, I’m really enjoying my driving. I’ve been driving for 10 years now and I still think there’s plenty more to learn. Plus, the more you learn, the better you become!”