New coach and bus engineering academy is UK first
Reaseheath College and First Bus has established what has been described as the UK’s first bus and coach engineering academy.
The new facility in Nantwich is delivering tailored training to First Bus apprentice engineering technicians in the maintenance of next generation, zero-emission transport vehicles. Reaseheath has invested £50,000 into state-of-the-art training equipment and First Bus has equipped the purpose-built, heavy engineering workshops with hybrid electric training buses and other training tools. The college has created a workplace style environment to maintain a seamless switch between depot and learning.
First Bus has worked closely with experts from Reaseheath’s engineering apprenticeships team to ensure the design and content of the bespoke apprenticeship programme meets its needs. The first cohort of 22 apprentices, including three girls, have begun their training. The majority are on a Level 3 bus and coach engineering programme while two are on the Level 3 Trade Supplier apprenticeship.
The apprentices attend Reaseheath for four training blocks each year and are being taught by a new team of tutors and skills coaches, specially recruited for their experience in the bus and coach sector.
“It’s vitally important that we build a pipeline of highly skilled bus engineers with the specific knowledge and skills to maintain the next generation of these buses” – First Bus Engineering Director, Ian Warr
First Bus Engineering Director, Ian Warr, said: “We created this academy to give our apprentices the best start to their training and careers and have supplied top class vehicles and equipment for technical skills development which match Reaseheath’s superb study environment.
“Zero-emission engine technologies are evolving rapidly as First Bus invests in greener fleets to reduce carbon and improve air quality. It’s vitally important that we build a pipeline of highly skilled bus engineers with the specific knowledge and skills to maintain the next generation of these buses.”
“Reaseheath’s new Engineering Apprenticeships Academy and the college campus have fantastic facilities and we are looking forward to further developing this working relationship” – First Bus Head of Learning and Development, Hansi Jackson
First Bus Head of Learning and Development, Hansi Jackson, said: “Our company shares very similar values to those of Reaseheath such as the need to embed aspirational teaching and skills development alongside technological innovation within the training programme.
“Crucially, we’ve had the opportunity to work with the apprenticeship team on the delivery model from the beginning, so the programme is truly bespoke and focuses on both technical and professional training. Reaseheath’s new Engineering Apprenticeships Academy and the college campus have fantastic facilities and we are looking forward to further developing this working relationship.”