Aberdeen-based transport operator FirstGroup has confirmed it is the only bus or rail company to be listed in a leading poll showing the 300 most popular graduate employers as voted for by students and graduates in Britain.
The company, which had nearly 1,000 graduate applications for its 2012 programme – a record for the firm – came in at number 219 in the poll, ahead of companies such as the Bank of England, O2 and Standard Life.
More than 25,000 students from 100 universities voted, which according to pollsters, makes it the most representative student poll yet of graduate employment opportunities.
John Evans, FirstGroup’s human resources director, said: “I’m delighted that we are considered one of the top employers among students and graduates.
“Entry to the ‘UK 300’ is a reflection of the investment we’ve made to raise awareness of opportunities in FirstGroup and attract the most talented and enthusiastic graduates.
“We have a strong tradition in FirstGroup of providing our graduates with the confidence and ability to progress within the business.
“Some of our most senior directors across the company started their careers with First through our graduate scheme.”
Duncan Cameron, operations director at First Aberdeen, began his career with the First scheme in 2001.
“The experience I gained was invaluable,” said Duncan. “I experienced almost every aspect of running a bus company, while I also spent some time learning the ropes at FirstGroup’s rail division.
“The scheme has undoubtedly helped me and many of my graduate colleagues secure senior positions within First.”
Reporting to Duncan is David Pinder, a graduate who is midway through a six-month placement at First Aberdeen.
He is one of First’s “rail graduates”, but during his two-year programme, six months are spent in the bus division.
David said: “I see my future career working in rail, but the experience I am gaining in the bus industry is really useful.
“There are lots of similarities of course, but for me it’s really interesting comparing and contrasting the two industries. I’m sure having experience of both sectors will stand me in good stead.
“It’s not surprising that FirstGroup is attracting huge volumes of students – its scheme, which mixes workplace and classroom learning is fantastic.”