Stagecoach launches bus driver apprenticeship scheme

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Stagecoach has unveiled an apprenticeship scheme for bus drivers, which is set to benefit over 150 new recruits.

The 12-month-long apprenticeship programme will first be piloted in the North East and Yorkshire, with 23 places on offer.

Should the pilot go as planned, it is hoped that more than 150 apprentices will be recruited over the next year – again in the North East and Yorkshire.

Announced last Wednesday during 2018’s National Apprenticeship Week, the scheme will be delivered by Sheffield-based Interserve Learning and Employment alongside Stagecoach.

The two companies are working in partnership to both ensure that apprentices are well-supported and that the scheme is as comprehensive and beneficial to trainees as possible.

According to Stagecoach, high quality driving, excellent customer service and a key focus on safety are core aspects of the programme.

The basis for the programme is Stagecoach’s existing bus driver training module; this has been enhanced and extended, combining both practical, on-the-job learning with theory-based training.

Currently, six apprentices have started their training in the North East, with the remaining 17 trainees to begin this week.

Mark Threapleton, Managing Director for England and Wales at Stagecoach, said: “The Passenger Transport Driver Apprenticeship provides a fantastic opportunity to learn all the skills required to become a competent, confident and safe bus driver, whilst being fully supported.

“As with anything worthwhile, there are challenges to be faced. We are working closely with Interserve Learning and Employment, combining our passenger transport industry experience with their proven apprenticeship knowledge and experience.

“Working together we have explored ways to make the scheme as advantageous to our business as it is to the learner. We are now excited to be in a position to deliver the scheme on a pilot basis and look forward to evaluating its success.”

Gregg Scott, Learning & Employments Director of National Accounts at Interserve, added: “It is very exciting to be working with Stagecoach, an industry leader in this area, to launch an apprenticeship programme which will create the next generation of the company’s bus drivers.

“Over many months our teams have worked with a true partnership spirit to create a programme that supports new drivers in all aspects of their role.”

Stagecoach has a track record of successful apprenticeship schemes; its engineering apprenticeship programme has benefited hundreds of trainees since it began more than a decade ago.