Go-Ahead aims to hire over 1,000 bus and rail apprentices in 2023
Go-Ahead aims to continue its efforts to diversify its workforce by increasing the recruitment of ethnic minorities and people of all age groups, with the company’s apprentices ranging from 16 to 65 years old.
Credit: Go-Ahead Group
The Go-Ahead Group has announced that it has set a target of hiring 1,020 apprentices in 2023 to train as bus drivers, rail drivers and engineers.
The intake will include 700 apprentice bus drivers for Go-Ahead London, which runs a quarter of the capital’s buses for Transport for London, and approximately 220 apprentice engineers and train drivers will be recruited by Govia Thameslink Railway. In addition, a further 100 apprentices will work at Go-Ahead’s regional bus companies and in head office roles in London and Newcastle.
The company’s apprenticeship intake is highly diverse, with 61% of apprentices that had beem recruited in 2022 being from ethnic backgrounds other than White British, including 78% of those who had joined Go-Ahead’s London bus operation. Furthermore, 32% of new apprentices were aged over 40, including many career switchers who are seeking a new start in the transport industry.
In the bus industry, Go-Ahead London’s Camberwell academy uses virtual reality technology to teach driving skills, and trainees alternate over the course of a year between periods driving buses and time in the classroom. In 2022, 77% of those who had started the course completed their apprenticeship and gained a qualification.
Since the training programme had first been introduced in 2018, the bus company has been able to deliver all aspects of training to their apprentices, including offering numeracy and literacy training equivalent to Maths and English GCSEs, and additional support to those with a range of neurodiverse conditions.
A further 466 apprentices are in training at Govia Thameslink Railway, working across engineering, driving and customer service roles. In 2022, 184 new recruits began their training, with 30% aged over 40.
Scott Maynard, Go-Ahead Group’s HR Director, said: “We’re proud to be training a new generation of drivers and engineers at Go-Ahead. Apprentices are fundamental to the future of our business and of our industry as a whole – and providing on-the-job learning has helped us to attract people from all walks of life. We want our workforce and the transport industry to reflect the communities we serve. Our apprenticeships programme is forever expanding, and the vast majority of our apprentices continue their careers with Go-Ahead after their training is completed.”
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