Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Change needed as school bus drivers, custodians retire

By Tara Clow Jan 30, 2024 | 12:24 PM

A new vision is needed to attract new school bus drivers and custodians, according to the Anglophone East School District’s director of finance and administration.

Aubrey Kirkpatrick says they’ve lost 51 drivers to retirement over the last four years, amounting to around 13 per year.

“Thirty-five per cent of the drivers that we have right now could retire today, so over the age of 55. The oldest permanent driver right now is 76 years old, and we have one casual who’s 81 years old.”

Kirkpatrick says the district needs to start thinking differently about recruitment and retention because the world is changing.

“In the past, the bus driver was someone who did this between gigs, but that doesn’t exist anymore. So when we have staff that are aging out, we need to think differently to get younger folks interested in the profession,” Kirkpatrick says.

He feels there’s a need to make these jobs more attractive so they’re five days a week, 40 hours a week, and 12 months a year.

“We have to think differently to attract people and hold them to make a career out of it again. The world has changed around that profession, and now we need to change the profession to match where we are at. The same could be said for custodial work. We need to think differently about who and how we are attracting people to that profession,” he adds.