FirstGroup almost doubles new graduate intake

Eighteen graduates have started their careers in the transport industry with FirstGroup’s graduate development programme. The graduates, recruited from all over the UK, have begun a comprehensive workplace development programme that will see them gain experience in multiple locations across the transport operator’s rail and bus operations.

The induction for graduates began at the company’s learning centre in Huddersfield, after which they will join their respective business areas in finance, engineering, or operations management.

FirstGroup has significantly increased the size of its programme for 2018, with 18 graduates joining the scheme, compared to 10 in 2017. A total of 2,796 applications were received for this year’s programme.

Dervla McKay, a former graduate, was appointed managing director of FirstGroup’s Aircoach business in April 2018. Following her initial training, Dervla progressed through a range of operational and management roles within First Bus, eventually becoming head of operations for First Hampshire, Dorset & Berkshire, before securing her current role.

“When I joined the graduate programme in 2005, I had the chance to test my skills in a very practical way, while also learning from the expertise of those working alongside me,” says McKay. “The experience that I gained in those early days has been invaluable throughout my career and has undoubtedly helped me progress towards my current leadership role.”

Samantha Humphries, FirstGroup graduate programme manager, adds: “Our graduates receive hands-on experience, technical training and mentoring that is amongst the best in the industry. It means they are perfectly positioned for a long and successful career in transport. In fact, several of our former trainees, such as Dervla, are now in senior positions.”