First publish staff stories in charity book

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‘Life in the Bus Lane’ is released featuring winners from a staff writing competition

Writing by bus drivers and a project worker from First Glasgow is set to feature in a brand new book, ‘Life in the Bus Lane.’ The text is a collection of short stories entirely written by employees of First Glasgow’s parent company, FirstGroup, and includes work from drivers, engineers, mechanics, cleaners and office staff.

More than 200 staff from First Glasgow responded to a joint FirstGroup and Unite the Union competition inviting employees to submit short stories, with the 89 winning entries published. 

The competition was promoted throughout the UK in First’s ‘Learning Centres’, which have been established in partnership with Unite the Union. Employees visit the centres to learn new skills, such as how to use a computer, the internet and email, or improve numeracy and literacy skills. Working with local colleges, First Glasgow’s Learning Centres even offer Open University and ESOL courses.

FirstGroup has more than 50 Learning Centres across theUK, mainly located in bus depots but with access available to relatives of staff and, in some cases, the public. At Frist Glasgow 100% of employees have access to Learning Centres. 

Ronnie Park, managing director for First Glasgow said: “We encourage our employees to use our Learning Centres to further develop their existing skills and gain new ones, it’s an investment in their future and ultimately in the future of our company. ‘Life in the Bus Lane’ encourages our employees to try something different, use our Learning Centres, learn a new skill and unlock their potential.”

Jimmy Lillis, trade union learning representative, who won First’s Learning Centre of Excellence gold award for three consecutive years said: “The short story competition is fantastic because it gets employees involved in really improving their literacy skills.”

Mick Dowds from Unite the Union said: “FirstGroup is to be commended not just for this particular initiative, but to its overall approach to lifelong learning. Working with First we have developed one of the most successful lifelong learning partnerships in the passenger transport sector and opened more than 50 Learning Centres at First’s bus depots and facilities throughout the UK. These centres, which are staffed by fully trained ‘Trade Union Learning Representatives’, make an invaluable contribution to the development of our members.”

‘Life in the Bus Lane’ is available for sale at priced at £5 with all proceeds going to FirstGroup’s charity partner, Save the Children.