Calling All Wannabe Bus Loving Engineers

Fancy yourself as the next Stuart Pilcher, Ralph Bennett, or Christopher Bowles?
Stagecoach Manchester are calling for apprentices

Stagecoach Manchester are calling for budding engineers to join their apprenticeship scheme. The company is offering places on its Bus Engineers’ scheme at all six of its depots: at Ashton-under-Lyne, Hyde Road, Middleton, Sharston, Stockport, and Wigan. Applications are now being accepted with courses starting in September/October 2017.

The Bus Engineers’ Apprenticeship Programme will help to recruit and train the people, who are responsible for maintaining Stagecoach Manchester’s 750+ buses. With almost 100 million journeys on their buses each year, this is no task for the faint-hearted. Two different apprenticeships are available: the Mechelec (which combines mechanical and electrical expertise); and the Body/Coachbuilder programmes.

Each programme is four years long with the first three years spent on the job learning in the depot with an allocated mentor to offer help and guidance. It includes attending a specialist training facility in Glasgow on a block release basis.  The fourth year of the programme has been specially designed by Stagecoach UK Bus to consolidate technical skills already obtained and is certificated by the Institute of the Motor Industry.

After completion of training, successful applicants will be awarded an Advanced Apprenticeship in Bus and Coach Engineering Maintenance. They will have the opportunity to become a member of the Society of Operations Engineers. The programme will offer candidates a chance to become the next Ralph Bennett, or follow in the footsteps of Elisabeth Tasker, the present MD for Stagecoach Manchester.

Stagecoach Manchester has ran the apprenticeship programme for 10 years. As a result, it has trained approximately five a year, over its 10 years in operation. Adam Ebdom-Parry, one successful graduate of the scheme, was invited to join the team on completion of the course.

Talking about the apprenticeship process Adam said: “My dad was an apprentice with Greater Manchester Transport in 1979, and he suggested that I have a look at public transport. We talked about his experience studying for his mechanics apprenticeship and before I knew it, I was researching the current opportunities with the major operators.

“The application forms for the apprenticeship convinced me to apply even more. They were asking about me as a person, not just about my achievements or my qualifications. They really wanted to get a grasp on what I was like and my willingness to learn.

“I have aspirations to develop with Stagecoach in the U.S and Canada, it would be interesting to see how the industry runs overseas. I think learning about the maintenance of vehicles and how they’re regulated. It would be invaluable and incredibly interesting. They have different types of vehicles in other parts of the world. Expanding my current knowledge on how they work would be an amazing opportunity.”

The Engineering Director at Stagecoach Manchester Peter Sumner said: “Adam is a fantastic success story and a great advocate for our apprenticeship programme. He has worked hard and taken every opportunity offered to him. Adam has a great career ahead of him and we’re proud that he’s part of the Stagecoach family.”

He also added: “We offer one of the best apprenticeship schemes in the bus industry and it is critical to the future success of our company. It’s comprehensive content means at the end of four years we have a highly skilled – and qualified – next generation of engineering talent.”

Stagecoach UK Bus considers all applications regardless of age. All you need is a GCSE grade A* – C or 4 and above, or standard Grade 1 – 3 / National 4 or 5 or equivalent in English Language, Maths and a Science.

If you wish to apply for an apprenticeship at Stagecoach Manchester, why not visit the Stagecoach UK Bus dedicated recruitment site (www.stagecoachbus.com/careers). The closing date is 07 July 2017.

An EM60 Presentation, 30 June 2017.

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