Until yesterday I’d never heard of Abellio a subsidiary of the Dutch state rail operator and responsible for recruitment for the new London Routemaster buses. Seems that in a country with 2.6 million unemployed they couldn’t find 50 people to drive the buses, well at least that’s what they claimed.
A UK bus operator flew bosses to Poland to recruit 50 new drivers despite there being 2.6million people on the dole in the UK.
Abellio, a subsidiary of the Dutch state rail operator, claimed it could not find suitable British candidates to work on routes in central and South West London.
The firm went on a massive recruitment drive in former Soviet country to expand its workforce. They claimed that there were ‘no suitable’ Britons.
But a current employee at the transport giant said he knew a number of friends who had been interviewed for the posts – and turned down.
‘The Routemaster will soon be back in the capital. What a shame if British drivers miss out on the chance to drive it,’ the driver, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Sun.
An Abellio spokesman said: ‘In order to supplement recruitment in the UK we held an open day in Poland where 51 experienced bus drivers were recruited.
‘We are not aware of any occasion where a suitable candidate has been turned away.’
The Polish drivers, some of whom have already started work, will be paid £10.60 an hour for the first two years at which point it will increase to £11.50.
There are currently 2.64 million unemployed people in Britain. Critics would suggest that any number of these would have been suitable candidates to drive the iconic buses.
The revelation comes as it was revealed that 160,000 Britons have missed out on employment because work was taken by foreigners.
Driving a bus is actually not that hard,they are automatics (or occasionally semi automatics) and other than getting used to the length and turning characteristics anyone who can drive can quickly learn to handle one. The only extra thing you need is a Passenger Service Vehicle addition to your license in order to carry paying passengers.
What this smacks of is cost cutting, by recruiting Polish drivers Adellio will save on the training costs of putting people through a PSV/Bus driving test. That plus an EU statute means they can go anywhere to recruit anyone within the EU to find the people they want. Now I’ve nothing against people coming here to do the jobs we can’t do, but that isn’t the case here. The job is not difficult, nor is the training particularly long, it can more or less be completed within a month. There were on the last check about 235,000 people unemployed in London, this means most were already living there and could have been trained to do this job. That Adellio is unwilling to train and that Transport for London did not stipulate that training was preferable in order to save on costs means that local people have yet again missed out on an opportunity to get themselves out of the welfare trap.
Nobody seems to train anymore, they’d far rather recruit from abroad or poach someone else who is trained from another company. Training costs money and takes a lot of resources if it’s for a skilled position, though in the case above it wouldn’t. Yet without some form of apprenticeship training this country will be forever dependent on outside labour. Perhaps if the government were to spend its foreign budget on training our people we might prevent situations like this. Something needs to be done though, it wont be cheap, but it will pay off eventually. Though only by leaving the EU will we gain control over foreign immigration.