Stagecoach has been ranked one of the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers for the second year running, with the company leading the transport sector.
The UK's biggest bus and coach operator runs a number of routes across Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds, as well as providing apprenticeships in the county. It was ranked by the Department of Education and High Fliers Research against 800 other employers in England on its commitment to employing apprentices; creation of new apprenticeships; diversity of new apprentices; and progression of apprentices and came in 42nd place.
The business has been offering apprenticeships for 20 years and currently has its highest ever number of apprentices, with 1,200 people across the country currently training to become drivers, engineers, IT staff and more. The company took on three engineering apprentices in Gloucestershire in 2022 and has five engineering apprentices currently in the system, as well as around 100 driver apprenticeships — and will create up to 370 opportunities a year when new driver apprenticeships are reinstated.
Stagecoach also operates a 'trade up' scheme, which allows existing employees the chance to undertake an apprenticeship with its engineering team.
There are plenty of progression opportunities for local apprentices, too. Stagecoach's Cheltenham workshop manager completed an engineering apprenticeship in 2017, before moving on to becoming a vehicle technician, engineering supervisor and then workshop manager in 2020, with the opportunity to progress further into a fleet engineer position.
An apprentice in Gloucester also went from driver to relief controller in two years, with their aptitude and work ethic contributing to their fast progression.
People director, Joanne Smith, said: 'We are really proud to be named as one of the top 100 employers, and especially ranked within the top 50, for our apprenticeship programmes and top in the UK bus and coach industry. It's a great testament to the hard work put in by our apprentices and local teams to develop the skills that we need for the future.'
Qualifications are delivered in partnership with GTG Training for engineering and Realise for drivers. All new starters at Stagecoach have the chance to become a driver apprentice, then recruitment for engineering apprenticeships starts again in April 2024.