A BUS company has said it is offering 'guaranteed interviews' to Debenhams staff affected by the Stockton closure.

Employees of the department store whose jobs are at risk have been offered interviews for ten bus driver positions which are available at Arriva’s Stockton, Darlington or Redcar depots.

The public transport company said no bus driving experience is needed and the company will provide full training, including putting successful applicants through the all of the necessary tests to become a fully licensed bus driver.

In order to be eligible, applicants must be over the age of 18 and have held a valid driving license for over 12 months with no more than six points, and have no drink driving convictions in the past ten years.

John Rochford, head of operations at Arriva North East, said: “We were disappointed to hear of the closure of Debenhams in Stockton and feel for staff who have gone through this period of uncertainty, especially around the festive period.

“Many people may not see retail to transport as a natural transition, but the key parts of the job are customer service and being able to stay calm under pressure, which I’m sure many of them already possess.

"I’m hopeful that opening up our application process can support some of those affected into a new career and offer a positive start to the new year.”

Other applicants will also be considered and will be offered an interview based on the strength of their application.

Ex-Debenhams employees can apply for the open positions on Arriva’s career website at arrivabusjobs.co.uk