Women Up Front program takes off at SkyBus

Iconic airport express bus operator SkyBus is helping the dreams of women take flight with the introduction of a tailored trainee driver program encouraging women to get behind the wheel of a new career.

Vanessa and Amy are among the class of participants who have changed lanes in their careers to become professional bus drivers through SkyBus’s first Women Up Front program.

Vanessa, a former electrical engineer, and Amy, with a background in running a family day care, never imagined themselves behind the wheel of a bus but a paid licence upgrade and training period were motivation for them to apply for the program.

Amy says she found an unexpected bonus of the program is the boost to her confidence after conquering new challenges.

“The incentive to get a bus licence has really motivated me. I’ve never driven a heavy vehicle, so it was quite daunting at the start but now I’ve conquered a few fears,” Amy says.

The Women Up Front trainee bus driver program is part of SkyBus owner Kinetic’s strategy to broaden the company’s talent pool and address gender inequality in the transport industry.

It includes a mix of classroom and on-road training ensuring candidates have the skills, capability and confidence to deliver world class services SkyBus is known for.

Participants also obtain a heavy vehicle license and a nationally recognised Certificate 3 in Driving Operations which enhance future employability and career progression.

Vanessa says the training program provided a supportive learning environment.

“The support throughout the program is amazing, the driver mentors are great, and all the drivers are happy to offer a word of advice and encouragement,” Vanessa says

“Being in a group as you go through the program helps you realise you are not alone and you can count on others to support you. It’s been really good.”

SkyBus General Manager Jason Balkin says SkyBus is proud to introduce the program which has been fully embraced by the team.

“SkyBus is known for its friendly welcome and world class customer service and this program gives us the opportunity to attract more people with the right passion and attitude and take care of the training and qualifications,” he says.

“It is helping our business better reflect the diversity of customers we welcome through Melbourne Airport every day—and we’re having a ball growing and strengthening our team as proud ambassadors for Victoria.”

Women Up Front is helping Kinetic drive towards its target of 50% women across its workforce by 2030.

The trainee driver program started on the Gold Coast in 2021 and is now delivered across Kinetic Australia-wide welcoming over 260 women to the business this year alone.

To find out more visit wearekinetic.com/women-up-front.

Our first cohort of SkyBus Women Up Front participants.

Our first cohort of SkyBus Women Up Front participants.