Go North West (GNW) has appointed Realise as its exclusive training partner. Such an approach is expected to see around 25 apprentice bus drivers start work each month across the 13-month programme.
The Level 2 apprenticeship will see those recruits obtain a PCV licence, along with learning the other skills required of a bus driver. Those include safety, customer service, and vehicle and route familiarisation.
The programme is part of GNW’s operation of two large local service contracts in Bolton and Wigan via the first tranche of bus franchising in Greater Manchester. Almost 800 drivers are required for that work and the operator is mounting a major recruitment programme to fill those roles, some of which are currently occupied by drivers from other Go-Ahead Group subsidiaries.
In addition to its work with Go North West, Realise is already delivering apprenticeships for Stagecoach. It is also training drivers through its own Route to Success ‘bootcamp’.
Realise Operations Director Kairon Flowers says that the supplier has “extensive experience of delivering bus driving training across the country, both through apprenticeships and adult learning.” All of its trainers have previous experience in the industry, she adds.
GNW has worked closely with Realise to create a curriculum “that not only focuses on equipping our learners with all the skills they require to be a successful modern day bus driver, but also ensure that they are able to embrace the new franchising system,” adds the operator’s Head of Operations John Roxburgh.