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Minibus transport service for staff supporting recruitment efforts

Published by Prior's Court School on Tuesday 29th of November 2022

Our minibus transport-to-work service is helping to alleviate care staffing challenges – as well as helping its teams face the cost-of-living crisis and support people to access jobs.

Earlier this year we introduced a minibus transport service to and from our site for new starters.

The service, initially open to only non-drivers but soon to be expanded, means those without a vehicle can access the Prior’s Court site, which is based on rural land without nearby public transport routes. Drop-off and pick-up points are available in Newbury, Thatcham, Theale, Reading and Swindon.

This means those who would previously not be able to access the challenging but rewarding roles of working with young people with complex autism at Prior’s Court can now apply for these jobs. More than 60 people are currently used the service.

Staff members are deducted a cost from their monthly salary to use the service – but the cost is less than fuel costs would be, let alone the additional running costs of having a vehicle, which helps with their cost-of-living.

One staff member who is using the service is Autism Practitioner Mollie Swatton, from Swindon.

Mollie said: “Without the transport service, as a non-driver, I simply wouldn’t have been able to work at Prior’s Court. I love working with the young people here -seeing the progress they make and the contribution you make to that.

“The bus becomes its open little group therapy session too as you chat about how your day has gone, what went well and what didn’t and how you could approach working with the young people differently.”

Another Autism Practitioner using the service is Tia-Nicole Heath, also from Swindon.

Tia said: “A job at Prior’s Court wouldn’t be available to me if it wasn’t for the transport service.

“It feels like a comedy act on the bus – we have so much fun. It doesn’t feel like we’re work colleagues, it feels like we’re friends.”

Kate Lefever, our Head of HR, said: “The staffing challenges within the care industry across the country are well-known. Prior’s Court has the added barrier of being based in a rural area without public transport links.

“We have had to be innovative in introducing this minibus service which is ticking so many boxes. It provides a wider pool of potential staff members for Prior’s Court, while also it also opens up roles to jobseekers who would not have been able to come here as they are non-drivers, in addition to supporting them during the cost-of-living crisis.

“Its popularity can be seen by the fact that three-quarters of our most recent induction of staff members are minibus transport service users.

“In the context of a cost-of-living crisis and the forecast recession, Prior’s Court continues to offer solid jobs and services like the transport to work option to aid our workforce’s personal finances.”
Minibus transport service for staff supporting recruitment efforts - Photo 1
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