February 09 2024

To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2024, CPT members have been celebrating a range of successful apprenticeship schemes that they are running throughout the UK. Here are some highlights:

First Bus

Carlos Correia

To coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, First Bus has teamed up with a leading transport training provider to launch its first ever apprenticeship programme for bus drivers. 

The aim of the new pilot is to potentially provide the bus firm with a pathway to create hundreds of new bus drivers every year, whilst also enhancing driver retention rates. The aim is to also attract a more diverse range of applicants to represent the communities First Bus serve. 

The inaugural cohort of apprentice drivers have already begun their training - some began back in November with the final part of the cohort joining in January - they are now placed in the Chelmsford, Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield depots across the Essex and West Yorkshire operations. 

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Barnes Coaches

Alistair Driving Apprentice

Barnes Coaches have been running their Coach-Driver Apprenticeship Scheme for several years and have an excellent success rate, welcoming many fully-fledged coach drivers to their driving team.

Successful drivers enjoy a wide variety of work entailing UK and European holidays, private hire and day trips.

Pictured above is driver apprentice Alastair. 

Go Ahead Group

Nikkita Gordon

Over the year ahead, Go-Ahead London, responsible for a quarter of London's buses, plans to hire 500 apprentice bus drivers, most of whom will be on the road driving within six weeks of recruitment. Drivers are trained at Go-Ahead London’s Camberwell academy – the industry’s largest in-house apprenticeship centre.

Nikkita Gordon is a standout London Bus Driver from Go-Ahead London’s Croydon Garage. Nikkita's journey began with an impressive readiness, skills, and can-do attitude on electric Buses. Beyond her driving prowess, Nikkita champions gender diversity, recently representing apprentices at the House of Parliament. Nikkita aspires to be the first female Driving Examiner for Go-Ahead, aiming to inspire more women to lead in a traditionally male-dominated field. Recognised for outstanding work ethics, she sets high standards, earning praise from her mentor. Her qualifications and achievements include PCV theory test and safety courses, exemplify her commitment to excellence. As we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, Nikkita Gordon's story inspires the transport industry to embrace diversity and empower aspiring individuals to reach their goals.

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Lee Jones, Technician and former Stagecoach apprentice

Stagecoach offers a driver apprenticeship scheme and an engineering apprenticeship programme. Employees can obtain a Level 2 Passenger Transport apprenticeship for bus drivers (12-14 months long), a Level 3 Bus and Coach Engineering Technician Standard apprenticeship in Mechanical-electrical, or, newly offered for 2024, Body and Coach Building.

Lee Jones (pictured right), Technician and former Stagecoach apprentice, said; “I started the Mech/Elec level 3 trade up apprenticeship in 2018 as one of the first three trade ups in South Wales. The apprenticeship has given me the knowledge and skills to not only understand how things work, but to understand why things stop working, problems and causes, and the ability to repair them. 

“I now have this ability from the support I had received during the apprenticeship, from work colleagues, mentors, chargehands, workshop foreman and fleet engineers who have all taken me under their wing and made me into the technician I am today. I am looking forward to meeting future apprentices so I can help train and develop them in the way so many have helped me.” 

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National Express

Kyle Randall, National Express

Kyle Randall from National Express, is a technician at their West Bromwich Garage. Here he talks about his apprenticeship and how it has helped in his career.

"I started in 2015 as a driver. I had always had an interest in engineering, however having a family young and financially providing for them was always my priority so returning to full time education wasn’t the best option for me. Therefore I felt learning and gaining a qualification and skills whilst receiving an income was a more positive route to take. Being able to learn on the job with support from experienced staff. As a practical learner I found this beneficial. The apprenticeship gave me an opportunity to develop my skills and I felt prepared and excited to step into this role."

National Express apprenticeships


Tom Arriva

Tom, Arriva's Assistant Engineering Manager at Arriva Derby started as an apprentice and moved his way up through a graduate scheme.

Tom said ‘University wasn’t really an option for me at school. I went on and did my A-levels, but when I came to the end I thought an apprenticeship would be a better solution. I liked engineering and I looked on the National Apprenticeship website and Arriva Tamworth popped up. I thought it’s local to home, I can get the bus there for free and that was it. I applied and the rest is history.’

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