Community Transport Passenger Assistant

The Job and What's Involved

Community transport is a local service for people who are unable to use other forms of transport, for example the elderly or disabled.

As a community transport passenger assistant, it would be your job to accompany passengers on journeys in the vehicle (usually a minibus). Typical duties include:

  • Helping passengers get on and off the vehicle.
  • Securing wheelchairs and baggage before a journey begins.
  • Assisting passengers while the vehicle is moving.
  • Accompanying passengers after their journey, where necessary.
  • Keeping the vehicle tidy between journeys.

You would work together with the driver of the vehicle, and possibly other passenger assistants.

In a full-time job you would work around 38 hours a week. You may need to be flexible as passengers can require transport from early in the morning to late in the evening. Part-time work may be available.

Most of your time would be spent on the move, picking up and dropping off passengers. Some lifting and handling may be required. Your employer may provide you with a uniform.

Full-time passenger assistants earn from around £11,000 a year.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

You can find opportunities in most areas of the country, with public, private and voluntary organisations.

Many community transport organisations are run by local authorities, therefore jobs may be advertised on your local council or community transport association websites.

Education and Training

There are no set entry qualifications for this job, although employers usually want people with some relevant experience. Working as a volunteer assistant is a good way to get this experience.

You may have an advantage when looking for work if you have a social care or customer service background. You may also need Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance.

For more general information about careers in community transport, see the Careers in Passenger Transport website.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

You would usually receive on-the-job training, which would include first aid, disability awareness, contracts and the law and duty of care. Some passenger assistants are also trained in specialist areas such as autism awareness or signing for the deaf.

You could work towards NVQ Level 2 in Road Passenger Transport Operations, which has options in providing support to passengers who require assistance.

Your employer may also put you on the Passenger Assistant Training Scheme (PATS). The scheme, administered by the Community Transport Association (CTAUK), would provide you with a nationally recognised standard of training. See the CTAUK website for more details.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A Community Transport Passenger Assistant needs:

  • Good 'people' skills.
  • Patience and empathy with passengers.
  • A reasonable level of fitness.
  • Good communication skills.
  • The ability to work well as part of a team.
  • Good organisational skills.
  • An awareness of disability needs.
  • A willingness to work flexibly.

Your Long Term Prospects

With experience and the right skills, you could move into community transport driving or vehicle maintenance, or be promoted to service operations administrator or manager.

Get Further Information

GoSkills, Concorde House, Trinity Park,
Solihull, Birmingham B37 7UQ
Tel: 0121 635 5520
Website: www.goskills.org

Community Transport Association,
Highbank, Halton Street, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 2NY
Tel: 0845 130 6195
Website: www.ctauk.org

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