From education to employment

The Go-Ahead Group sets out plans to recruit 850 bus and rail apprentices during 2024

uk railway station
  • Recruitment target includes 500 trainee London bus drivers and 220 rail apprentices    
  • Go-Ahead has trained more than 5,500 apprentices since 2019 – enough to fill the Royal Albert Hall    
  • Apprentices ‘learn while they earn’ and are of all ages and backgrounds    

The Go-Ahead Group, the UK’s largest employer of transport apprentices, aims to recruit 850 apprentices during 2024 to train as bus drivers, rail drivers, engineers and in a variety of administrative roles. 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 – enough to fill London’s Royal Albert Hall.

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 will be on the road driving within six weeks of recruitment. Drivers are trained at Go-Ahead London’s Camberwell academy – the industry’s largest in-house apprenticeship centre.

Meanwhile, Govia Thameslink Railway, which operates Thameslink, Southern, Great Northern and Gatwick Express trains, is set to welcome 220 apprentice engineers and train drivers. Go North West, the Manchester-based bus company known for launching Greater Manchester’s Bee Network public transport service, aims to add 100 apprentice bus drivers. Additional apprentices will be recruited across various roles at Go-Ahead’s regional bus companies and in head office positions in London and Newcastle.

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. Some join straight from school, while others are career switchers.

Carolyn Ferguson, Go-Ahead Group’s Chief People Officer, expressed pride in the new generation of apprentices. She said: “Our successful apprenticeship program and apprentices across the Go-Ahead Group play a vital role in shaping the future of the business and the broader transport industry. What they bring to the Go-Ahead Group is invaluable to our business and the transport sector, and we will continue to invest in talent and diversity.”

The Go-Ahead Group ranked 5th last year in the UK’s Top 100 Apprenticeship Employer listings – a ranking developed by the Department for Education.

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