Go North West selects Realise as apprenticeship partner

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Go North West expects up to 25 new recruits per month to start its apprenticeship programme. JONATHAN WELCH

Go North West has marked the start of bus franchising in Manchester by appointing Realise as its exclusive training partner. The operator started to deliver bus routes across Bolton and Wigan last month after being awarded the first major franchise contracts by Transport for Greater Manchester under its new Bee Network, requiring some 800 drivers across its network in Bolton and Wigan.

The operator has launched a new apprenticeship programme to help train new recruits, and selected training provider Realise to lead the 13-month programmes, which are likely to see around 25 new apprentices start each month, the firm expects.

Realise’s also delivers apprenticeships for Stagecoach and has been creating newly-trained drivers through its own exclusive ‘Route to Success’ programme. John Roxburgh, Head of Operations at Go North West, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Realise who have an experienced and talented team of trainers to deliver what is our biggest ever apprenticeship programme.

“Realise has an extremely strong reputation for delivery of all training programmes and apprenticeships and it is known for its specialism in bus driving. We have worked extremely closely with the team at Realise to create a curriculum that not only focuses on equipping our learners with all the skills they require to be a successful modern day bus driver but also ensure they are able to embrace the new franchise system.”

The Level 2 apprenticeship will see learners obtain their PCV licence, as well as learning the other skills required including safety, customer service and vehicle and route familiarisation.

Operations Director at Realise Kairon Flowers said: “It’s an exciting new era at Go North West and we are delighted to have been selected to lead the roll-out of this significant apprenticeship programme. We have extensive experience of delivering bus driving training across the country, both through apprenticeships and adult learning. All our trainers have past experience in the industry and know the value of bus services to local communities.

“The team at Go North West is fantastic to work with. They are fully engaged in the apprenticeship programme and embracing the ideas and innovation we are seeking to bring to the training delivery.”

Realise Operations Director Kairon Flowers. GNW