Two of the 14 new graduates who started FirstGroup’s UK-based graduate management scheme last month will spend six months in North America

14 graduates began life in the transport industry last month when they started out on FirstGroup’s UK-based graduate management scheme.

The graduates, recruited from all over the UK, undertake a comprehensive workplace training programme over two years at various locations across First’s UK operations and within various functions in the company’s bus and rail divisions. However, in a first for the company, two of its graduates are set to spend six-month placements in North America as part of a new and bespoke commercial element to the graduate programme.

John Evans, FirstGroup’s HR director, said: “Working in our business in North America will provide our graduates with a new perspective of working in the transport industry. Six months of ‘hands-on’ experience across the Atlantic will help develop their potential and is a unique opportunity to experience and better understand our commercial strategies and practices across FirstGroup’s entire operations.

He continued: “Our businesses in the UK and North America are increasingly working closer together as we seek to further establish best practice throughout our organisation. Going forward, we hope to provide more opportunities for our graduates to experience FirstGroup America.”

Hannah Dobie (22) from Bolton has started life at FirstGroup in the bus division’s marketing department at Hunslet Park depot, Leeds. She will jet off to North America next year and will be joined by Emma Bryce (22) from Durham who is currently enjoying her stint in ScotRail’s marketing department.

Dobie said: “FirstGroup’s graduate management scheme is extremely competitive and I am very fortunate to have been selected. I’m particularly looking forward to visiting North America – it’s a tremendously exciting opportunity to learn more about the business and broaden my horizons.”

FirstGroup confirmed that all graduates from the scheme’s 2011 intake have successfully completed their two-year programme and all have progressed into roles across different divisions including station management, employee management, engineering project management and business development.

John Evans added: “We attracted more than 1,000 graduate applications in 2013 – a record-breaking number. Our new crop of graduates have big boots to fill given the success of our graduates over the years, but I’m confident that they will each enjoy long and successful careers with First.”


This article, and many others, appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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