Firstgroup’s graduate scheme attracts record number of applicants

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FirstGroup, the leading transport operator in the UK and North America, today revealed that its UK graduate scheme has attracted 1,000 applications this year – a new record for the company. 


FirstGroup will begin its selection process in the coming weeks and from September, 15 graduates will begin working for the company across its bus and rail operations. 

“Year on year, the number of candidates that apply for the FirstGroup scheme continues to increase,” said John Evans, FirstGroup’s HR Director.  “That overwhelming level of interest in First reflects the quality of our comprehensive Graduate Programme.   

He continued: “Of course I’m pleased with the volume of the candidates we are attracting, but I’m delighted with the pedigree and potential of candidates that we employ.  Our Graduate Programme has consistently provided us with exceptionally enthusiastic, talented people that continue to make a huge contribution to our business.  I have no doubt that the calibre of our 2013 graduate intake will also be first-rate.” 

“FirstGroup continues to attract and retain the best people that transport industry has to offer.” 

Phil Dodds (23 from Poole, Dorset) is nearing completion of First’s two year Bus Operations Graduate Programme and has been based at First Aberdeen since December.  “The scheme has been fantastic,” he said.  “I’ve experienced First’s operations, including ScotRail, across the UK and have worked with almost every function within the bus division including Operations, Driving, HR, Scheduling and Network Planning.” 

He continued: “My highlight was spending two months at the Olympic and Paralympic Games last Summer where I was part of the Logistics and Services teams at the Transport Co-ordination Centre – helping ensure our buses got spectators to their events on time. 

“I’m not surprised the FirstGroup Graduate Scheme is so popular amongst students.  I’m very fortunate, given the competition, to have secured a place and I hope as I approach the end of my two year Programme, that I can continue my career with First.” 

FirstGroup graduates undertake a comprehensive workplace training schedule over two years at various locations across First’s UK operations and within various functions in the company’s Bus and Rail divisions. 

In 2012 The Guardian produced it’s ‘UK 300’, a poll showing the 300 most popular graduate employers as voted for by students and graduates in the UK.  FirstGroup finished 219 in the poll and was the only bus or rail company to be listed.

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