Stagecoach North East is recruiting the next generation of engineers and inviting people with an interest and a desire to learn to apply for a place on this year’s apprenticeship scheme.

With depots in South Shields, Newcastle, Sunderland, Teesside and Hartlepool, the company is offering places on its Bus and Coach Engineering programme in both Tyne and Wear and Teesside. The course begins in September each year and applications are now being accepted.

Apprentices with Stagecoach North East will work towards a ‘Mechelec’ apprenticeship: a combined mechanical and electrical qualification. The company’s Bus and Coach Engineering Technician apprenticeship will help to recruit and train the people who are responsible for maintaining Stagecoach North East’s fleet of buses and coaches. The posts are critical to the reliable and safe operation of passenger services across the region.

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 or Wolverhampton on a block release basis. The fourth year of the programme has been specially designed by Stagecoach UK Bus to consolidate technical skills by way of attendance at a series of development courses including manufacturer’s technical courses, and is certificated by the Institute of the Motor Industry.

Stagecoach UK Bus considers all applications regardless of age. The only requirement is that applicants have three GCSEs (grade A – C), grade 4 (or above), three standard grades (3 or above) or National 4 or 5 in English Language, Maths and a Science.

In addition to the academic qualifications the successful applicants must have an interest in engineering, be keen to learn and develop new skills and an interest in technology would be beneficial.

At the end of the four-year programme the apprentice will graduate with a rewarding career ahead of them. One apprentice currently enjoying the challenges of the training programme is 27-year-old Jordan Davison from Southwick in Sunderland. He began his apprenticeship at the South Shields depot in Stockton in September 2016 after spending a number of years working in vehicle processing.

He said: “I previously worked in administration and workshop control, so I really wanted to experience and learn more about the manual side. When I was looking for apprenticeships I saw this opportunity and I applied for it straight away, as I thought it would be ideal.”