Spotlight Lynsey Milligan

Spotlight On Lynsey Milligan, Transport Manager/Driver/Apprentice Mechanic

The Women in Bus and Coach “Spotlight On” initiative shines a light on the incredible contributions of women in all roles across the bus, coach, and community transport sector. From professional drivers and engineers to human resources professionals and CEO’s, ‘Spotlight On’ will highlight the diverse talents and achievements of women in this dynamic industry.

Today we focus on and find out about:

Lynsey Milligan
Transport Manager/Driver/Apprentice Mechanic.
Milligan Coach Travel

What is your role?

Transport Manager/Driver/Apprentice Mechanic.

How did you get to where you are today?

I always wanted to join the family business but first I moved out and went to university to study business whilst working part-time in a supermarket. During my time at university, I sat my PCV driver’s license and did the social media & website for the business before finally graduating in 2020 with an Economics and Finance degree. During the pandemic I learned how to do the wages and accounts and how to take bookings for both our private hire side and our holiday brochure. At night after work, I would do an at-home study pack for my Operators CPC, sat the exam and qualified as a transport manager in 2021. I then spent about 2 years working in the office and driving school buses, sometimes working in the garage, until September 2023 when I decided to start my bus mechanics apprenticeship at GTG Training.

What do you like about the sector?

There is a variety of roles and different jobs and there is honestly something for everybody.

If you like going new places, being on the road meeting new people you’ve got the driving aspect. For those that like working with their hands there’s mechanics, there’s bodywork and respraying vehicles. For those that like planning and organising you’ve got the operations and transport managing aspect with organising work for drivers, scheduling work, checking availability for enquiries, pricing quotes, keeping an eye that everything is legal for drivers’ hours and making sure everything goes to plan on the day. You’ve got the job of a travel agent, booking peoples holidays and day trips, planning and delivering great days out and packages for groups, and the social media and advertising.

The bus and coach industry relies on a lot of external factors like traffic, roadworks, and weather (to name a few) so if you like problem solving and thinking on your feet when things don’t run according to plan then this industry is definitely for you.

What does a typical day look like?

I start at 7am and check that all the walk round checks have been submitted from drivers about to do their school run and if there’s any vehicle defects, before doing my own checks if I’m needed to drive that day.

Each day is different for me depending on where I’m needed so after a school run it’s either the garage or office. If it’s the garage, then it’s monthly inspections or MOT prep, any defects rectified or bodywork repaired and painted, or working on our 70 seat conversions. If it’s the office, the day will be spent answering enquiries, pricing jobs, booking private hires and day trips/holidays, organising high teas/days out for private groups, advertising, designing the following years’ brochure and researching a variety of places to take passengers, scheduling and allocating driver work, keeping an eye on legal news and industry news regarding transport and checking news on roadworks.

What advice would you give to women thinking about a career in the bus and coach sector?

I’m currently at the start of mechanics apprenticeship and with that brought a lot of imposter syndrome and “why do I think I can do this” (especially when I’m the only girl in the classroom at college). However, I had similar thoughts when I was learning to drive a bus which was also outside my comfort zone. I feel anxious and out of place before starting something new all the time and then the more I do it, it becomes my new comfort zone. Everything is intimidating at first, especially if you are surrounded by people that don’t look like you, but it’s not your job to tell yourself “no” and deny yourself opportunities. You don’t have to know everything right away, you have the capabilities to learn along the way, you just have to start.

What has been your bus or coach sector career highlight?

There have been obvious ones like being nominated and becoming a finalist at the Route One Awards. But I was over the moon when I passed my bus test, and then my transport manager exam. I’m just really enjoying learning the different roles within the business and doing things I didn’t think I’d be able to do.

What three things could the Bus and Coach sector do to improvement the industry for Women?

Promote and showcase existing women in the industry (like this!) so that women can actually picture themselves in the industry. It’s hard to picture yourself and intimidating to start a job in a sector when you don’t see anybody that looks like you are doing the job. Starting at school or college recruitment open days and putting the idea of the industry in young women’s heads right from education before starting their careers, allowing the opportunity for mentorships and networking.

Offer flexible working hours for those who have caregiving or child-care responsibilities (statistically these roles fall on women’s shoulders) and address any other existing barriers that might be stopping women from entering the sector.

Make the workplace inclusive, safe and support all employees and their goals. Have policies in place for safety, offer opportunities to advance, provide training and development for new roles they want to learn within the business.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

Hopefully I’ll be 2 years into being fully qualified bus mechanic and I’ll be more confident and experienced in my role. I see myself with more responsibility and in more of a leadership role allowing my mum and dad to take a step back.

Thank you for sharing your story Lynsey, you are truly an inspiration!

To find out more about who Lynsey works for and career opportunities visit: Home – Milligans Coach Travel


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