Meet John, Senior Driver
John has worked at National Star since 2014. As a Senior Driver he works within the organisation’s Transport team and supports the day to day activities of the college’s learners.
What attracted you to National Star?
I first became aware of National Star in the 1970s when I moved to Gloucestershire. After retiring from a previous career, I made a change and worked for adult care services. I wished to continue working in a social care environment so I took the opportunity to apply to be a driver at National Star and work with young adults in their educational development stage. I felt this role would give me job satisfaction and a more secure future.
What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
In such a large organisation that utilises many driving staff, it is important that drivers understand their legal responsibilities to both themselves and National Star. They also need to ensure professionalism in driving legally and safely.
As a driver I find it rewarding working with our learners and other transport users, particularly as it allows me to develop good rapport and professional relationships through the relaxed nature of the role.
What are the key skills required for your role?
You need to be a competent, safe and conscientious driver with a D1 category to drive minibuses. I also have to be adaptable, especially in relation to the range of different vehicles that have to be driven. It is important to have a reasonable understanding of health and safety at work, and be a team player to ensure best practice is being maintained.
Finally, I need to have a good sense of humour – our learners certainly do! At the same time I need to be aware that they trust and rely on me, so I must always take my responsibilities seriously.
How does your role make a difference at National Star?
Transport is vital in the infrastructure of the organisation. I’m involved in most of the college’s daily activities – whether it be transporting learners to and from their residencies during the week or taking them to daily activities and social events during evenings, weekends and respite. The Transport team play a vital role in the life of the college.
What training and development have you received?
Prior to working here I undertook the D category driving test, which certified me to drive the college coach. Upon joining National Star I received mandatory induction training, and also training to be a MIDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme) instructor.
What would you say to someone thinking of applying to National Star?
It’s a job with lots of rewards, including the opportunity to work with our learners and staff from a range of diverse backgrounds. It’s also a nice environment with a high percentage of staff who have had a long service at the organisation.
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