First challenge for new recruits was to travel to Aberdeen HQ – using only FirstGroup’s services.

A record-breaking 16 new recruits began the graduate scheme last week at FirstGroup. The bus and train operator has taken on more graduates in 2011 than in any other year.

On their first day in their new roles, the graduates were set a challenge to help them learn about FirstGroup’s services. They were asked to travel from their homes across the UK to FirstGroup headquarters in Aberdeen by FirstGroup services only. Therefore from early morning on September 5, and in some cases Sunday evening, the 16 graduates set off from their homes across the UK, including Glasgow, Edinburgh, Somerset, Suffolk, Leeds, Bristol and Plymouth for the journey north to Aberdeen.

“What better way to learn about FirstGroup services than experiencing them,” said FirstGroup’s head of learning and development, Linda Guthrie. “We asked them to plan their journeys in advance and critically evaluate each leg. They were all successful and arrived in Aberdeen by 6.00pm – just as we asked.”

FirstGroup’s graduate scheme attracted a record 750 applicants this year and planning has already started for its 2012 graduate recruitment strategy. The group will be launching a new look graduate website in October and will undertake a social media campaign for the first time.
“The added investment and resources to our 2012 graduate recruitment campaign will help ensure that we attract the very best gradates,” said Guthrie.

Graduates undertake workplace training over two years at various locations across First’s UK bus and rail operations.

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