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Stagecoach engineer scoops top student award

10 Dec 2019

A 26-year-old engineering student has received an award for his hard work and technical talent after winning the IRTE North Eastern Centre Student of the Year 2019.

Peter Billyard from Peterlee, finished his Stagecoach apprenticeship last year and is now fully qualified and working full time at Stagecoach North East's depot in Stockton.

The talented engineer originally started out as a Toolmaker at FINN after completing an Advanced Engineering BTEC at Hartlepool College of Further Education. However, after the company went into liquidation, Peter successfully applied for an apprenticeship with Stagecoach and has never looked back.

Peter completed his apprenticeship between 2014 and 2018 before taking up a permanent role as a Shift Mechelec. Recently promoted to Chargehand, Peter's responsibilities include vehicle maintenance and servicing, as well as delegating tasks to colleagues at the depot.

Speaking about his time at Stagecoach, Peter said: "The apprentice scheme is brilliant - I have learned so much over the four years to increase my skills and focus me towards a career in the transport industry.

"I am really pleased with this award and it was a total surprise when my name was called out, and I had to go up and collect the award in front of all the other apprentices at the ceremony."

A winner of two Apprentice of the Year Awards previously, Peter's efforts have not gone unnoticed by his supervisors. Dave Mackel, Engineering Manager at Stagecoach North East's Stockton depot, said: "Throughout his apprenticeship, Peter has applied himself to the highest standards and demonstrated commitment through his willingness to transfer to other depots, providing cover for vacancies and skill shortages, as required."

Peter was presented with the award by Mick Sweetmore, President of the SOE (Society of Operations Engineers), at the Annual IRTE North Eastern Centre Dinner and Dance at the Hilton Newcastle/Gateshead.

Stagecoach has invested millions of pounds in its UK Bus apprenticeship programme and employs hundreds of apprentices across its UK Bus operations.

Gary Chisholm, Engineering Director for Stagecoach North East, said: “Peter has worked extremely hard and is a great advocate of the apprenticeship programme. He is thoroughly deserving of the award and we're very proud that he is part of the Stagecoach family."