Arriva plc

Arriva plc 2024 graduate opportunities

Company Company Profile

Arriva Where Do You Want To Be graduate-jobs

Arriva bus graduate jobs

Arriva is one of the largest providers of passenger transport in Europe. Our buses and trains provide more than a billion passenger journeys a year.

In August 2010, Arriva was acquired by Deutsche Bahn, one of the world's leading passenger and logistics service providers.

Case Studies

  • Name: Matt Bloxham

Joining Arriva

Reason I chose this course is so I could do a job using my degree in a practical environment, so I started looking at engineering graduate opportunities. After graduating I took some time to travel around for 6 months, then I took a job in a logistics firm but it didn't interest me much. That was when I discovered Arriva via their website. When I first joined Arriva I was surprised by the intensity of the job…you walk in the door and it is non-stop. You're always working at a fast-pace and there isn't much time to relax. Having said that, there isn't a chance to get bored, either! I've done office jobs before and the Arriva graduate programme isn't like that - it's not routine and every day is different, keeping you on your toes.

Understanding the business

Doing my bus driving test was really important to me. I gained experience of both managerial and operational environments, learning the differences between engineering and traffic departments. Getting my licence and picking up passengers was really beneficial. There was one instance in particular when I was learning to drive a bus and the bus broke down on the way home. We were stuck for 4 hours on the M2 in the training bus, waiting for a tow-truck to turn up. We didn't get home until 6pm having started at 7am that morning! That was quite frustrating and it gave me much more affinity with drivers who suffer a breakdown whilst in service and made me a better engineering manager. Now, if I get a breakdown call from one of the drivers, I make sure it gets fixed as soon as possible.

Training and development

My on-the-job training was focused on technical knowledge and the practical application on how to manage people. There were lots of things I hadn't considered before, like learning employment law. Sometimes what should seem like a simple task can often be quite complex. Off-the-job training was really great - the project management and the financial management courses were fantastic. The graduate network was also really important - speaking to other graduates and seeing what line they go down to solve problems that they face. Everyone takes a different approach to problems and this makes networking with other graduates invaluable. My mentor was brilliant too - I had the Director of Technical Services (the top engineer in the company) as my mentor - getting tips from him was really helpful. One of my biggest challenges was moving from the Midlands to Kent; my first time living away from home. My mentor helped me assimilate into my new role whilst dealing with the challenges I faced inside and outside work.

Secondments and placements

At Centre Bus it was really interesting to work for a smaller part of Arriva and see how they worked and operated compared to how wholly owned Arriva depots worked. Everything was different - so it was my job to try and understand why and how they took this approach.

Substantive role

This was my first step in to a pressurised role - some of the engineers who worked there had been there for years and were engineering experts. I came into this environment with a lot of theoretical knowledge from my degree but not a great deal of practical experience. So I dealt with it the only way I knew how - I got my overalls on and got stuck in! The other engineers like to see others getting stuck in and getting their hands dirty. You learn as you go, appreciate the job you're asking others to do and earn the respect of the team around you.

My destination

I completed my Graduate Programme four months early, and was offered a position as Assistant Engineering Manager at the High Wycombe depot.

  • Name: James Higlett

Joining Arriva

Arriva was advertising in Prospects magazine and that’s where I found out about Arriva, plus the busses on campus at the University of Surrey are run by Arriva, so was familiar with the company that way too. I’ve also had a real interest in transport engineering since a very young age – so it was a programme like this that I was looking out for and there aren’t that many good progammes to choose from in the marketplace. I quite liked the idea that I would get exposure to Arriva in general as an international company with lots of opportunities.

Understanding the business

Every day is different – I know it’s a cliché but it REALLY is true! Especially when I was an Assistant Engineering Manager I had to deal with quite chaotic situations. Even now variety is a major part of the work I do – one minute I could be working from the office, the next minute I could be out in a European country working on a business mobilization project. What’s great is that I can always see progression in my career and I feel like I’m going somewhere.

Training and development

My exposure to business in general was quite limited before I joined Arriva. So you can imagine that I was really surprise to see how committed Arriva was towards my development – the level of exposure I got to all kinds of management and responsibility from day 1 was incredible. That was really the best start any graduate could have wanted – a chance to prove yourself with lots of support from the business.

Secondments and placements

I saw an opportunity to do a secondment in to the train business and so asked to do it. I proposed a project on doing a reliability study – it was reviewed and I was given the chance to do it. It was really great – I really got to understand how different the train side of the business is to the bus side of the business. That was a real eye-opener and gave me a greater appreciation of how Arriva operates.

Substantive role

It didn’t click until I got my first substantive role as an Assistant Engineering Manager! Because of the way Arriva operates there is so much to learn in so many different areas so it took me time to assimilate my own ideas. It really clicked for me when I had my first position of responsibility as an Assistant Engineering Manager. Because I’d done so many different roles I could then, and only then, see how things fit together. If you really understand the jobs of others around you, you automatically understand the pressures they are under and therefore can become a better manager.

My destination

After my programme I was appointed as Assistant Engineering Manager at the Dartford Depot. Since then my career has moved from strength to strength and in the next two years I would like to get to Engineering Director level. Further down the line it could be interesting to move to the Operations side of things – the doors are most certainly open in this growing and progressive business.

Training & Profiles

Arriva oily hands graduate jobs

Our General Management and Engineering Management Programmes give you the complete Arriva experience. Starting in either UK Bus, UK Rail or Mainland Europe, you'll spend 18 months exposed to all the challenges of a fast-paced, customer focused business in the transport industry.

Key skills include:

  • Eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • Customer facing or supervisory experience is preferred
  • Key skills include leadership, customer focus, commercial awareness, resilience and flexibility.

Application Procedure


Starting Salary (UK only): £22,500 – 25,500 depending on location.

Graduates must be flexible to take opportunities around the UK and Europe.