A BUS firm is offering a £4,000 sign-on bonus to new applicants due to a shortage of staff.

First buses are offering the cash incentive after announcing a 17 per cent shortage of drivers in the Glasgow area, which has consequentially lead to the company making short notice cancelations and a reduction in regular service, the Scottish Sun revealed.

The ramp up in recruitment comes after they last month boosted pay and conditions for trainee drivers by increasing their hourly rate from £11 to £12.85, but the bus firm believe the lack of recruitment is due an increase in other vacancies in the job market.

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Now, they are working on a new way to appeal to applicants on top of the payment incentives.

First Glasgow head of operations Paul Clark said: “We have an active recruitment campaign underway and are making every effort to attract new entrants to the industry with flexible working patterns for drivers in Glasgow.

“People are keen to become bus drivers and serve their local communities, so we are working to make that process as easy as possible and doing everything we can to attract new talent to the industry.”

Last month the firm revealed it was having to make further cuts to services in Glasgow, Falkirk, Livingston, and Stirling because of driver shortages.

Current vacancies to help tackle the shortage of drivers are available at their Scotstoun and Caledonia depots in Glasgow, as well as in Dumbarton, at Blantyre in South Lanarkshire and Overtown in North Lanarkshire.

With the sign-on incentive sitting at £4,000, they are also telling applicants they could earn more than £30,000 a year with overtime.

However, the sign-on bonus would not be given straight away to new drivers. Instead, the bonus comes in two parts over the course of a new employees first full year, with £2,000 after the first six months and then the same figure after a full year.

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New workers will also be driving new electric buses for the firm in what they claim is an ‘exciting time’ to join the firm.

Mr Clark added: ““Now with the launch of improved new starter rates, flexible working patterns, the influx of new state-of-the-art zero emissions electric vehicles and our new PCV licence holder bonus scheme, there has never been a more exciting time to join.”