Britain’s largest bus and and coach operator, Stagecoach, has pledged to recruit 600 extra apprentices this year, as it marks National Apprentice Week.
Stagecoach currently employs around 550 driver and engineering apprentices across the UK, and by the end of 2020 the company plans to increase its staff by more than double.
This huge expansion will see the company employ around 1,000 driver apprentices and 200 engineering apprentices.
12 month programme
The 12 month long programme offers a combination of practical training and on-the-job learning.
Stagecoach Chief Executive Martin Griffiths said apprentices bring huge value to the business in terms of talent and diversity.
“Whether you're a school leaver or somebody who wants a change of career, an apprenticeship programme is a great opportunity to earn while you learn and kick start your career in the transport industry," he commented.
A total of 34 Stagecoach employees have gained their driver apprenticeship to date, with a further 100 expected to have completed the programme by the summer.
Caroline Crozier, a former school teaching assistant from Newcastle, who joined Stagecoach in Walkergate depot in March 2018, is among the first to have completed the bus driver apprenticeship.
Stagecoach is Britain’s largest bus and coach operator (Photo: Shutterstock)
She said, "It’s a great programme, you get support from your peers and assessors all the way through which is really helpful, and the on-the-job learning really helps you get to grips with everything easily and quickly.”
Jemma Wood started as a mechanical apprentice, with no knowledge of mechanics. Now she is a deputy engineering manager.
She said, "It was never in my original plan to become an engineer – as a child, I wasn’t really interested in mechanics or engineering, I much preferred my Barbie dolls.
“It was definitely the way for me and, as an added bonus, I met my future husband on the course!”
You can visit the Stagecoach website for more information on their career opportunities.