At the close of apprenticeship week (7-11 February), GoSkills, the Sector Skills Council for Passenger Transport claims the career development potential for transport apprentices has never been greater.
Interim Chief Executive for GoSkills, Neil Stokell says: “The government’s backing for apprenticeships is firmer than ever and transport employers are placing greater value on the schemes as a means of boosting customer service and providing a pool of people who are ripe for management.”
A good example of the high expectations employers have of apprenticeships is Transport for London (TfL). TfL has worked alongside GoSkills and London’s bus operators to build the current apprenticeship framework for bus drivers.
Clare Kavanagh, Director of Performance at TfL said: “TfL is delighted to be supporting an initiative that is giving frontline staff the opportunity to enhance their skills through apprenticeships, support their professional development and help to meet the increasing expectations of our customers.”
Partners in the programme include Arriva the Shires and First London who echo this view of a positive impact on workers’ performance. Kieran McDonnell, Driving & Recruitment Training Manager at First London, says: “The training encourages our Bus Drivers to use their skills in delivering a high standard of service to our passengers. It is rewarding to see our new staff growing in confidence through the extra support they have received.” Indeed, the interim report of a research project commissioned by TfL and due for completion in Summer 2011 indicates apprentices themselves find the programme a very positive development opportunity. Demonstrating the career benefits of the scheme to apprentices, Mat Chapman, Life Long Learning Manager at First Group says: “We know our apprentices today will go on to become the managers of the future – a bonus for us as well as the individuals.”