Stagecoach North East is recruiting the next generation of engineers and inviting people with an interest and a desire to learn to apply for a place on this year’s apprenticeship scheme.
With depots in South Shields, Newcastle, Sunderland, Teesside and Hartlepool, the company is offering places on its Bus and Coach Engineering programme in both Tyne and Wear and Teesside. The course begins in September each year and applications are now being accepted.
Apprentices with Stagecoach North East will work towards a ‘Mechelec’ apprenticeship: a combined mechanical and electrical qualification. The company’s Bus and Coach Engineering Technician apprenticeship will help to recruit and train the people who are responsible for maintaining Stagecoach North East’s fleet of buses and coaches. The posts are critical to the reliable and safe operation of passenger services across the region.
Each programme is four years long with the first three years spent on the job learning in the depot with an allocated mentor to offer help and guidance. It includes attending a specialist training facility in Glasgow or Wolverhampton on a block release basis. The fourth year of the programme has been specially designed by Stagecoach UK Bus to consolidate technical skills by way of attendance at a series of development courses including manufacturer’s technical courses, and is certificated by the Institute of the Motor Industry.
Stagecoach UK Bus considers all applications regardless of age. The only requirement is that applicants have three GCSEs (grade A – C), grade 4 (or above), three standard grades (3 or above) or National 4 or 5 in English Language, Maths and a Science.
In addition to the academic qualifications the successful applicants must have an interest in engineering, be keen to learn and develop new skills and an interest in technology would be beneficial.
At the end of the four-year programme the apprentice will graduate with a rewarding career ahead of them. One apprentice currently enjoying the challenges of the training programme is 20-year-old Lee Mutch from Stanley in County Durham.
Lee began his apprenticeship at the Sunderland depot in September 2016 after being inspired by his Dad, an engineering manager at the Stagecoach depot in Hartlepool.
He said: “My Dad has worked his way up from engineering apprentice, fitter, charge hand, and engineering supervisor, so I know that there are great opportunities for a career in engineering with Stagecoach and I am really enjoying it.”
“I am looking forward to the next two years and to taking up some of great opportunities ahead to progress.”
27-year-old Jordan Davison from Southwick in Sunderland began his apprenticeship at the South Shields depot in Stockton in September 2016 after spending a number of years working in vehicle processing.
He said: “I previously worked in administration and workshop control, so I really wanted to experience and learn more about the manual side. When I was looking for apprenticeships I saw this opportunity and I applied for it straight away, as I thought it would be ideal.”
Another apprentice currently enjoying the challenges of the training programme after joining last year is 19-year-old Harry Renwick from Eaglescliffe in Stockton.
He said: “I started my apprenticeship at the Teesside depot in Stockton in September 2017 after studying for two years at NETA Training Group in Stockton for a Level Three Diploma in Engineering Technologies.
"The course has been excellent so far and I have learned so much from the team here. And there is great support from my mentor and the guys on the course."
Gary Chisholm, Engineering Director, Stagecoach North East said: “We offer one of the best apprenticeship schemes in the bus industry and it is critical to the future success of our company. It’s comprehensive content means at the end of four years we have a highly skilled – and qualified – next generation of engineering talent. Across the Group, there are former apprentices who now hold senior positions and I can say without reservation that this scheme definitely works.”
Anyone wanting to apply should visit the Stagecoach UK Bus dedicated recruitment site