The Go-Ahead Group is aiming to double the number of apprentices in its ranks over the course of 2019, as its bus company Go-Ahead London opens a new recruitment and training academy in South London.
The Group claims to be the only public transport operator to deliver all aspects of apprenticeships in house, and almost 500 apprentices are currently training with Go-Ahead’s bus and rail companies, with a target to train 1,000 recruits by the end of the year.
Go-Ahead London’s new academy in Camberwell will be used to deliver on-site training for the next generation of bus drivers. The opening of the academy also marks the first time that Go-Ahead London will be training bus drivers under its apprenticeship programme.
The academy will provide both academic and technical training, with two certified driving examiners on-site. In addition to driving, apprenticeships are also available across customer service, business administration, mechanical and engineering and technical roles, with training taking between 12 and 36 months.
Reflecting Go-Ahead’s commitment to championing diversity, two-thirds of Go-Ahead London’s current apprentices come from a BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) background, and one in five are women. The ages of the apprentices range from 18 to 65.
“Go-Ahead’s commitment to double the number of apprentices it trains is great news for our industry,” says Mike Brown, London’s transport commissioner. “Apprenticeship schemes are so important in opening up the opportunities for people to discover transport as a career, and to ensure our workforce reflects the city we live in. Go-Ahead’s investment in a state-of-the-art training facility for bus drivers, who perform such an important role in helping move people around London, will help attract people from all the city’s communities.”
David Brown, Go-Ahead Group chief executive, adds: “Having apprenticeships for bus drivers is helping us develop the role to become more customer focused, and the participants reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.”