Apprentices looking forward to Stagecoach career

All aboard! A score of apprentices are looking forward to jobs on Stagecoach’s buses thanks to a successful event hosted in Barnsley.

Interserve Learning & Employment (ILE) worked with the leading bus company and Jobcentre Plus to run a recruitment drive in Barnsley which targeted people for roles as an apprentice bus driver.

The apprenticeship with Stagecoach runs for 13 months and gives people the training and support they need to learn all the skills required to become a competent, confident and safe bus driver.

Earlier in the year Stagecoach and ILE launched a Bus Driver Apprenticeship scheme, which is being piloted in Yorkshire and the North East of England. Stagecoach’s existing bus driver training module has been enhanced and extended, within the framework of the Apprentice Levy arrangements, using a combination of practical training and off-the-job learning.

The aim is to recruit at least 150 apprentices in Yorkshire and the North East. To help achieve that objective, ILE teamed up with Jobcentre Plus and Stagecoach to run an information day and assessment centre rolled into one. Stagecoach then held interviews in the town’s depot.

Jobcentre Plus sent 17 candidates to the successful event, and 10 have been offered positions with Stagecoach and will be enrolling onto the Passenger Transport Bus Driver Apprenticeship.

JoAnne Woolsey, an information advice and guidance advisor with ILE, said:

“I’m passionate about apprenticeships and the benefits they bring, and I am proud to have been part of a team effort that helped get the numbers of apprentices that this opportunity deserves.

“I think the way we held the event was instrumental in reaching this fantastic outcome because it enabled people to ask any questions they had and to take part in the assessment all under one roof before hearing – there and then – whether or not they were successful.”

The event, hosted by Jobcentre Plus, included a presentation about the benefits of apprenticeships by JoAnne, followed by input from ILE’s Account Manager for Stagecoach, Emma Phillips about the Passenger Transport Bus Driver Apprenticeship and learner journey. The event was concluded by Paul Keating, Barnsley Assistant Operations Manager for Stagecoach, who took questions.

The score of apprentices were aged from their mid-20s to early 50s and from a range of backgrounds. They passed a rigorous Stagecoach interview process which includes functional skills and driving assessments and also a medical to start the Level 2 Passenger Transport Apprenticeship.

Emma said: “Following the event’s success, which was due to the collaborative approach, we are looking to roll it out across other Jobcentre Plus branches.

“While it gave us a good opportunity to promote Stagecoach, we also believe the initiative is applicable for other companies and small and medium enterprises that we work with.”

The Bus Driver Apprenticeship provides comprehensive training, complementing Stagecoach’s high standards around high quality driving, excellent customer service and a key focus on safety.

 

Paul Keating, Barnsley Assistant Operations Manager, Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “This recruitment event was a huge success and we’re delighted to have hired 10 new apprentices.

“It was great to see how keen all the attendees were. They really wanted to know more about Stagecoach and what the job role entails, so it was a good opportunity to provide them with answers to any questions they had.

“Overall, a fantastic experience – well presented, really well organised and an immensely positive day.”

Carole Chamberlain, Account Manager at Jobcentre Plus, added:

“The session was really well received by our service users and included a great deal of information from Interserve regarding training and support involved with the apprenticeships. Stagecoach provided more information about the roles, the incentives and answered questions – even down to which models of bus operated on each route.

“The whole process with Interserve and the Jobcentre worked seamlessly and was very well executed.”

Stagecoach already offers a number of training and development opportunities for new recruits and existing employees.

For more information on the Bus Driver Apprenticeship visit https://learning-employment.com/stagecoach-bus-driver-apprenticeship/.

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