Six veteran Gurkha soldiers who swapped combat for coach driving are leading a charge to recruit ex-servicemen and women to work for Kings Ferry and National Express.
The UK’s largest coach operator currently has a number of driving, and customer service vacancies available and the Gurkhas, who drive commuter coaches for The Kings Ferry, are urging ex-forces personnel to apply.
Kings Ferry is committed to supporting men and women who have served in the Armed Forces through its industry-leading Military Promise.
As part of the promise, former servicemen and women are guaranteed an interview for Kings Ferry’s jobs, while those who hold a PCV driving licence are guaranteed a job interview driving roles providing, for safety reasons, they live within one hour’s drive of the depot.
National Express, the UK’s largest coach operator currently has 21 job vacancies including fifteen driving vacancies based at depots at Stansted, Luton and Heathrow airports, and the Gurkhas are leading the call for former servicemen and women to apply.
In a boost to those who don’t already hold a PCV licence, the coach operator is also recruiting trainee drivers to work at their Start Hill depot near Stansted Airport.
Ex-Gurkha Krishna Thapa aged 35 drives on the Kings Ferry Kent – London commuter coach services and carries passengers into the City of London every morning.
He served in the Royal Gurkha Rifles for 13 years where he gained a vast experience driving vehicles including fuel tankers, hazardous loads, on and off road articulated vehicles.
He joined the company in July working on a Kent – London commuter service carrying passengers into the City of London every morning and lives in Dartford with his wife Mira and their young daughter.
He said: “The National Express Military Promise is a fantastic way of supporting those who have left the forces and I’d urge anyone who is leaving the military to apply for these roles.”
He added: “I love my job as a coach driver, mostly because of the satisfaction of giving my passengers a smooth, comfortable and punctual service. My time in the Gurkha rifles taught me to be hard-working, disciplined and patient as well as giving me huge experience driving all sorts of big vehicles - all this has made it much easier for me to transition into my current job, and do it to a high standard.”
Kings Ferry Managing Director Ian Fraser said: “We are thrilled that our former Gurkha Kings Ferry employees are backing our campaign to support more ex-servicemen and women find employment. The armed forces do an incredible job protecting this country but many personnel struggle to transition into civilian careers when they leave. That’s why we are offering guaranteed interviews including for our driving jobs to those who hold a valid PCV licence - to offer the best chance possible in finding work.”
Launched in 2013, National Express’ Military Promise’ is an industry-leading commitment to support people who have served in the Armed Forces.
Through its partnership with Ministry of Defence's Defence Discount Service it offers the UK's largest travel discount for serving personnel, family members and veterans at 60 per cent off standard fares.
The company is also proud to recognise the huge commitment made by the Reserve Forces by offering extra annual leave for staff in the Territorial Army to help them fulfil their important duties without sacrificing all of their holidays.