Derby is centre of excellence

A new apprenticeship academy to train bus engineers has been opened by Arriva in Derby.

It is planned that the academy will become a centre of excellence for staff across the business, offering established engineers the opportunity to upskill with CPD training and bespoke courses devised by Arriva and vehicle manufacturers.

The Arriva Midlands Engineering Academy has begun teaching its first intake of 12 apprentices at the company’s Ascot Drive depot, Derby.

They will follow a four-year course devised by Arriva to equip them with all the skills they need to become effective bus engineers.

Lloyd Mason, Engineering Development Manager at Arriva UK Bus, says: “We’re delighted to be launching this custom-made facility at our depot in Derby.

“At a time when the Government is tasking employers to step up and devise apprenticeship programmes which are relevant to their needs, Arriva is really stepping up by helping to design the new national Bus and Coach Apprenticeship Programme and creating courses for our own employees.”

Arriva Midlands apprentices previously learned their trade at City College Coventry, but following the success of an Arriva academy set up three years ago in Edmonton in north London, Arriva has invested £200,000 to set up new centres in Derby and St Helens, in Merseyside.

Training at Derby will be delivered by expert tutors from Bristol-based S&B Automotive Academy.

Apprentices include both school and college leavers and more experienced workers taking a career change who will undertake a four-year programme including three years of on-the-job training and block release courses and a final ‘improver’ year in their local depots.

Mr Mason adds: “By taking this training in house we are able to design a course which is completely relevant to what our apprentices need to know and allows them to learn and practise their skills in a genuine Arriva working environment.”