“Zambia Posting? What Zambia posting?”

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Neil (centre) training in Zambia in 2009. TRANSAID

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International development and road safety organisation Transaid tells the story of Neil Rettie, whose Stagecoach career took an unexpected turn with a posting to Zambia

Imagine swapping your job as a PSV Driving Instructor in Inverness, for a similar role 8,000 miles away in Zambia. Thirteen years ago Stagecoach gave Neil Rettie precisely that opportunity…

It all began in late-2008 when a passing remark by a colleague inspired Neil to apply for a job he couldn’t possibly have ever imagined – particularly given the tropical climate, when he is naturally so averse to the heat!

Picking up the story, Neil explained: “I was at the Stagecoach head office in Perth for some training, and a colleague happened to mention that he was surprised, with me being single at the time, that I hadn’t applied for the job in Zambia. And I’m saying, ‘Zambia posting? What Zambia posting?’ because I’d not heard anything about it. That was on the Thursday evening, and when I did some digging, it turned out that Monday was the closing date for applications.”

The opportunity, it transpired, was to spend 12 months on secondment over the next two years with international development organisation Transaid, which since its formation in 1998 has been committed to transforming lives through safe, available, and sustainable transport by working with communities, partners, and governments to solve transport challenges throughout sub-Saharan Africa. His role would be delivering professional driver training to PSV and HGV drivers in support of a new road safety project in Lusaka, the Zambian capital.
After doing some swift research, Neil updated his CV, and sent it off – expecting to hear no more. But in early January he was invited down to London for an interview with then Transaid CEO Chris Saunders, and Zambia Project Manager Caroline Barber.
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