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Oxford Bus Company invests in graduates to inspire the next generation in transport

Glenn De Sousa progressed from graduate trainee to manager inside a year – after getting on-board Oxford Bus Company’s graduate training scheme. 

Mr De Sousa fast tracked his career via the Go-Ahead Group graduate training scheme at Oxford Bus Company, which is designed to inspire young people into the bus industry. 

After completing the comprehensive training scheme, which included passing his bus driving test, driving routes in service, along with spending time in operations management in the ticketing department,  he became Head of Commercial and Planning for Oxford Bus Company, performing a vital role in network planning and commercial operations for the firm and its sister companies Thames Travel and Carousel Buses. 

And now Mr De Sousa is encouraging other graduates and young people to consider embarking on a career in the bus industry. 

Mr De Sousa said: “I would recommend the bus industry to all graduates who want to launch their career. We’re at the forefront of the communities we serve, not just at Oxford Bus Company but across the industry. There is a huge social and environmental value to what we do. 

“It is an exciting time to be part of this industry and there is huge scope for development on a personal level. The graduate and internal progression schemes which exist at Oxford Bus Company offer fantastic opportunities for talented young individuals to join the business and develop their careers.”

Mr De Sousa initially followed his passion for buses by reading Transport Management at Aston University. The course covered the theory of transport planning in the rail, bus and aviation industries, whilst also covering some of the softer skills of management. He completed a year-long Year in Industry placement at Oxford Bus Company during his studies and joined its graduate training scheme after he graduated in 2021. 

Developing a career in the bus industry was his ambition since he was a teenager. 

“I have been passionate about buses from an early age,” said Glenn. “My enthusiasm started with an interest in the vehicles and routes. 

“As I got older, I developed an interest in the business side and knew that it was something I wanted to get involved in and help shape. Studying Transport Management at university and gaining some real-life experience in the industry in my teen years confirmed my decision to pursue this career.”

He added: “The placement gave me a great foundation to learn about the business and about the wider industry. I got the chance to work on the commercial side of the business as well as exposure to the operations and engineering functions.

“The Go-Ahead Group is one I hugely admire. I like the way it empowers its local teams to make decisions and am very grateful to be part of that culture. Oxford Bus Company and its sister companies operate bus and coach networks tailored to a wide variety of markets – learning about how to make a success of these varied components really appealed to me.

“The encouragement of everyone I work with, across the board, has helped me to progress quickly at Oxford Bus Company. There is an enormously supportive culture and environment. If you have the passion and determination, you can really progress through the business. Investment comes not just via time but also in additional courses and training to maximise professional development.” 

Luke Marion, Oxford Bus company, Thames Travel and Carousel Buses Interim Managing Director said: “The Go-Ahead Group graduate training scheme is market-leading and provides superb opportunities for young talented and ambitious people to launch and build their careers.

“It’s important we work to inspire people to join the bus industry and help develop the next generation of talent that will take the sector forward. Glenn is a wonderful example of what is possible for people to seize the opportunity and work hard and he is an important member of our team.” 

Oxford Bus company is currently recruiting bus drivers and is holding a recruitment open day on November 13th between 10am and 2pm at Cowley House, Watlington Road, Oxford. It recently increased trainee rates of pay and its driver joining bonus by £1,000 to £3,000. 

The Go-Ahead Group is the parent company of Oxford Bus Company and its sister companies Thames Travel and Carousel Buses.

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