Lucky seven needed to embark on engineering careers

This National Apprenticeship Week (5-9 March 2018), the region’s biggest bus company, Go North East is calling out to aspiring young engineers with a thirst for knowledge and the drive to develop hands-on skills to apply for seven coveted spaces on its award-winning apprenticeship scheme run in partnership with Gateshead College.  

Named this year on the prestigious Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers List by the National Apprenticeship Service, Go North East, which is the region’s third largest employer, currently has 31 apprentices studying at varying levels within its engineering teams.

Highly Commended as Large Employer of the Year at the 2017 National Apprenticeship Awards, the bus operator gained national recognition for its unique bus and coach electrical engineering apprenticeship at the National Recruiter Awards.

The four-year embedded scheme is also widely renowned across the bus industry, winning the top prize for Operator Training at the RouteOne Bus & Coach Transport Awards.

Delivered in partnership with Gateshead College, Go North East’s popular apprenticeship receives over 500 applications each year from local youngsters eager to get on the road to successful engineering careers.

Hand-picked for last year’s cohort, ambitious 20-year-old Jak Watson, from Whickham said: “The apprenticeship is even better than I expected. I’m really enjoying it and hope to work my way up at Go North East.”

Luke Mitcheson, 17 is one of just a handful of coachbuilder apprentices at Go North East, based at the company’s Saltmeadows depot in Gateshead.

Luke, from Peterlee said: “I would definitely recommend the Go North East apprenticeship to anyone looking to start a career in engineering. There aren’t many coachbuilder apprentices and some of the more experienced coachbuilders are nearing retirement, so once I’ve finished the apprenticeship, I hope to stay at Go North East and progress my career.”

Almost 90% of Go North East’s engineering workforce started their careers as apprentices, including Head of Engineering, Colin Barnes. He said: “Go North East recognises apprenticeships as a valuable recruitment tool, especially in mechanical engineering where there is a serious deficit of skilled people.

“Apprenticeships allow us to develop a hardworking, contentious workforce, that is aligned to our vision of ‘journeys taken of’ and give local people the opportunity to develop a career with clear future progression - all while learning on the job, future proofing their skills, and making a living. We’re urging anyone with an interest to apply this National Apprenticeship Week - they could become one of the lucky seven to join our highly-skilled engineering team.”

All of Go North East’s successful new recruits will spend one day a week training using state-of-the-art equipment at Gateshead College’s £5.5 million Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics based at Team Valley in Gateshead.