Imperial hosts Arriva apprentices at Harlow HQ

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Apprentices from Imperial visited the well-known coach and bus parts supplier. IMPERIAL ENGINEERING

Ensuring that the coach and bus industry has the right skills for maintaining next-generation zero-emission vehicles is a key focus for many of the major operators across the UK, with many realising the benefits of an investment in apprenticeships as being critical to replacing older members of the national workforce. As one of the UK’s major distributors of coach and bus parts, Imperial Engineering says it has been an advocate of skilled engineers within the PSV sector for well over 50 years.

The company actively supports apprenticeships at the grass-roots level through a number of measures, including organising training sessions with parts suppliers such as Knorr-Bremse, Haldex and Wabco, as well as the provision of training materials to support engineering apprentices. The Harlow-based company recently opened its doors to a cohort of nine Arriva apprentices from each stage of their three-year apprenticeship. The familiarisation day involved an overview of Imperial Engineering, its history, association with the bus industry and long-standing partnership with Arriva.

A tour of Imperial’s purpose-built facility followed, to give the apprentices an insight into the parts distribution process, the range of product brands supplied and a look at a number of engineering services carried out by Imperial, including the remanufacture of brake callipers.

After lunch, the apprentices received some expert calliper training from Imperial’s Technical Sales Manager, John Simmons, who has been in the bus and coach industry for over 40 years. The company says it is proud to have been a sponsor of the IRTE Skills Challenge since 2019, in order to highlight the importance of engineering training to the coach and bus industry, and also supports the recognition of apprentice achievement through sponsorship of Arriva’s Apprentice of the Year and Metroline’s annual Apprentice of the Year award.

Imperial Engineering’s Sales Director John Dwight, who welcomed the apprentices and gave them a guided tour of his family business, commented: “It’s crucial to the successful future of our industry that we’re seen as an attractive career opportunity for the engineers and technicians of tomorrow, as advances in technology mean that the multi-skilled engineer is now very much in demand. We always enjoy the opportunity of showing young people how the whole industry works together and our partnership with Arriva continues to develop the next generation of employees.”