• Initial pilots taking place in North East England and Yorkshire
  • More than 150 new recruits to benefit from new 12-month apprenticeship

Transport group Stagecoach has launched a new Bus Driver Apprenticeship scheme across parts of England.

The company is piloting the new scheme in the North East and Yorkshire, with 23 new recruits initially benefitting from the new programme. It is hoped that more than 150 apprentices will be recruited over the next year in these areas.

The apprenticeship – announced during this year’s National Apprenticeship Week – is being delivered by training provider Interserve Learning & Employment along with Stagecoach.

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 over a period of 12 months.

So far, six apprentices have begun their Stagecoach journey in the North East while a further 17 will start in Yorkshire and the North East next week.

Interserve and Stagecoach are working in partnership to ensure trainees are fully trained and supported throughout the programme.

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

Stagecoach Managing Director for England and Wales, Mark Threapleton 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 & 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, Interserve Learning & Employments Director of National Accounts said: “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 sprit to create a programme that supports new drivers in all aspects of their role”.

Stagecoach already offers a number of training and development opportunities for new recruits and existing employees. The company’s industry-leading engineering apprenticeship programme has benefitted hundreds of apprentices over more than a decade. Stagecoach also offers a comprehensive Graduate Development Programme, which continues to produce the managers and directors of the future, and its Staff Development Programme allows existing employees to train as managers.

You can find out more information about the Bus Driver Apprenticeship, here.