Industry marks National Apprenticeship Week

This week is National Apprenticeship Week (5 to 11 February 2024) and the industry is marking the occasion with an array of initiatives.

Daish’s Holidays

To coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, coach holiday provider Daish’s Holidays has opened its apprenticeship programme to its 516-strong workforce in a commitment to fostering continuous growth and development within the company.

Seven employees have enrolled on an apprenticeship course which will provide them with comprehensive training to ensure they stay abreast of industry developments and deliver the best experience to guests. A variety of course options are available within the operations, kitchen, and front of house teams, ranging between Level 2 to Level 5 qualifications.

First Bus

This National Apprenticeship Week, First Bus is teaming up with Realise, a transport training provider, to launch its first ever apprenticeship programme for bus drivers.

The aim of the new pilot is to potentially provide the bus firm with a pathway to create hundreds of new bus drivers every year, while also enhancing driver retention rates. The aim is to attract a more diverse range of applicants to represent the communities First Bus serve. The training initiative is open to anyone who holds a standard UK driving licence.

Zoe Sparks, apprentice driver at First

The inaugural cohort of apprentice drivers have already begun their training, with some began back in November with the final part of the cohort joining in January. They are now placed in the Chelmsford, Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield depots across the Essex and West Yorkshire operations.

If successful, the pilot could be extended across the UK to other parts of the business in the future.


After re-launching its Graduate Scheme for 2024, Stagecoach has emphasised why investing in its employees is so valuable for this year’s National Apprenticeship Week.

Stagecoach offers a flagship driver apprenticeship scheme and an engineering apprenticeship programme. Employees can obtain a Level 2 Passenger Transport apprenticeship for bus drivers (12-14 months long), a Level 3 Bus and Coach Engineering Technician Standard apprenticeship in Mechanical-electrical, or, newly offered for 2024, Body and Coach Building.

This earned the operator recognition as an Apprenticeships Top 50 employer, 2023 and ranked 42nd in the national league tables identifying England’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers for 2023.

Stagecoach also offers a two-year graduate training programme which recently launched for its 2024. Applicants will have an opportunity to develop their skills in stakeholder management, commercial innovation, people leadership, operational performance and change management. With additional access to their own support network, graduates are assisted by a buddy and mentor in the company and access to professional development such as an ILM level 3 qualification.


The Go-Ahead Group reminds us it is the UK’s largest employer of transport apprentices.

LeVaugh Kaisa at Go East Anglia

The company aims to recruit 850 apprentices during 2024 to train in various roles across its operations. The new recruits will all be taught functional skills, including English and maths, while working in Go-Ahead’s depots, stations and offices.

This year’s intake will bring the total number of apprentices hired by Go-Ahead since 2019 to 6,000.

Over the year ahead, Go-Ahead London, responsible for a quarter of London’s buses, plans to hire 500 apprentice bus drivers, most of whom are expected to be on the road driving within six weeks of recruitment. Drivers are trained at Go-Ahead London’s Camberwell academy, which it says is the industry’s largest in-house apprenticeship centre.

Go-Ahead has recruited apprentices of all ages and backgrounds – the youngest hired by the group has been 16 (although 18 is the minimum age for bus and rail drivers). The oldest apprentice to join Go-Ahead was 65.

The Go-Ahead Group ranked fifth last year in the UK’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer listings – a ranking developed by the Department for Education.



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