POLISH bus drivers could soon be on the roads of Huddersfield.
They are being recruited to fill chronic staff shortages in Huddersfield.
Transport company First, which runs buses across the UK including Huddersfield, has been trying to recruit drivers from Poland to fill staffing gaps.
So far, the drivers have been introduced in Sheffield and Bath - but First Huddersfield has applied for them to come to this area too.
First Huddersfield commercial director, Graham Riley, said: "We have a high staff turnover.
"When a driver leaves, they give a week's notice. New employees have literacy and numeracy tests, driving assessments, interviews, medicals and drugs tests. This takes about six to eight weeks.
"It's hard to find drivers, so we are looking at new labour markets."
He said Poland was chosen because it recently entered the EU and its citizens had expressed a wish to come to the UK.
He said: "There are high unemployment levels there. There is also a link between the countries.
"For example, this area has a strong Polish community.
Mr Riley added: "It is an expensive option and we are still wanting to recruit people locally, as they know the area better."
First has a recruitment agency in Poland selecting drivers for employment.
The drivers undergo all First's normal tests, plus they must learn English and take an English driving test.
It is not yet known when First Huddersfield will get a response to its application.
* Poland joined the EU in May, one of 10 new members
* Entry followed a 77% `yes' vote in a referendum in June, 2003
* Workers from Poland will be issued with work registration certificates by new employers in the UK
* Polish workers are keen to move to the UK to become bus drivers, due to high unemployment in their own country.