A graduate from Pontefract is now getting to grips with the running of a Teesside bus depot as he takes on the role of Assistant Operations Manager with local bus operator, Stagecoach North East.
30-year-old Ryan Norbury has been welcomed on board at the depot in Stockton and joins the team as part of the company’s Graduate Training Programme, where he has just started his second year of training.
As assistant operations manager, Ryan will oversee the daily running of the depot as he progresses with his training and development, whilst receiving support from a dedicated mentor. Duties include assessing the operations on a daily basis, dealing with incidents and queries, recruitment and staff management, as well as liaison with engineering.
The training programme aims to recognise, nurture and encourage the best in the transport industry, with the graduate benefitting from hands-on experience combined with comprehensive classroom theory tuition.
Ryan spent the first year of his training based in Aberdeen as part of Stagecoach North Scotland’s operations, where he worked within different departments at various depots, experiencing marketing, commercial, engineering and operations roles. This included learning to drive a bus and obtaining his PCV licence, as well as getting under the bus chassis.
Although Ryan graduated from Leeds Beckett University with an LLB Honours degree in Law, he was keen on a career in customer services and management. Prior to his studies and during his degree, Ryan worked part-time with Capita Customer Management and following graduation, he took up a full-time role as a trainer, then as a team manager, with clients such as American Express, British Gas and Sky.
The role included coaching and mentoring a team of around 15 staff, handling escalated complaints, doing one-to-one training sessions, return to work interviews and completing required disciplinaries as well as adhering to KPI and SLA targets.
Ryan said: “The experiences I gained over the years working in customer services was invaluable to my current role. It taught me how me to communicate with staff to get the best from them and to have a customer-centric approach to everything that I do.
“While I enjoyed the job and the people I worked with, I knew it was not what I wanted to do with my career, but the time that I had spent in that role made me want to look at operational management roles.
“So, I looked on graduate job sites and that is when I came across Stagecoach’s graduate program and was impressed by the structure. The varied nature of the role and the opportunity to become an operations manager in two years showed the trust that the company has in its program and the people they recruit.
“When I attended the assessment centre day I knew Stagecoach was the company for me. There was a real family feeling and to see former graduates who have gone onto become directors of the company highlights how seriously they take the scheme and the passion they have in developing future leaders from within.”
During his training in Aberdeen, Ryan spent time at the various depots across North Scotland, where he enjoyed discovering the region and making new friends.
He continued: “Learning to drive a bus there was a great experience and made me appreciate how challenging a driver’s job can be, and I now have a greater awareness of the daily challenges they face.
“During the training I enjoyed working in the pit to help repair buses and driving a bus in service, but I would probably say one aspect I enjoyed the most was the operations module. Communicating with drivers, making sure service was running efficiently and speaking to customers was something which was familiar to me in many ways comparable to my previous role.”
Ryan is very much looking forward to his new post. He continued: “No two days are the same and no two depots are the same, so I’m now looking forward to doing the job, bringing my learning from Aberdeen and developing my skills and experience here on Teesside.
“The ability to make a real difference to customers lives and being able to engage with frontline staff and inspire them to serve our customers in the best way possible is a challenge that I relish.”
Nathan Stanislawski, Operations Manager at Stagecoach North East’s Teesside depot, said: “We warmly welcome Ryan to our team and are positive that he will take to the role of assisting with the operations management very well.
“Our Graduate Training Programme helps to develop the next generation of managers and directors for Stagecoach and we embrace the fresh thinking, creative ideas and energy that they bring. Ryan will be an asset to the Stockton depot and will help maintain the crucial public transport network across the Tees Valley. We wish him all the best in the next stage of his career.”