You’re Hired! - Go-Ahead hits apprentice goal for 2019

  • Go-Ahead reaches target of 1,000 apprentices in 2019 two months early
  • Go Ahead is the only public transport operator that delivers apprenticeships in bus and rail in-house
  • One in three apprentices in London are 40 or older

13 November – More than 1,000 people are on track for a bright career after Go Ahead hit its 2019 apprentice target eight weeks ahead of schedule.  

Go-Ahead is the only public transport operator registered as an approved provider delivering apprenticeships across both bus and rail. It set a goal of reaching 1,000 apprenticeships at the start of this year and reached this milestone at the start of November 2019.

This means it has doubled the number of apprentices across the organisation. It is also bucking an emerging trend in the UK, where apprenticeship starts have fallen since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy[1].

The new recruits reflect best practice for companies to champion diversity by finding the best talent from all walks of life. 

One in three apprentices at bus company Go-Ahead London are aged 40 or older and 43% of apprentices at rail company Southeastern are over 36 years old. Of nearly 300 apprentices at Go-Ahead London, two-thirds come from a BAME background.

The age range of Go-Ahead’s apprentices stretches from 16 to 75.

David Brown, Go-Ahead chief executive, said: “Not only have we reached our apprentice target - we’ve exceeded it. Investing in apprenticeship programmes is important for developing colleagues’ skills and potential.”

Several senior managers and directors across Go-Ahead started their careers as apprentices. Go North East engineering director Colin Barnes was recruited as an apprentice in 1992 while Go-Ahead London managing director John Trayner also joined as an apprentice in 1975.

Southeastern train driver Jane Woolterton, one of Go-Ahead’s 2018 intake, recently became the first person in the country to complete the Level 3 Train Driving apprenticeship[2]. Currently 16% of apprentices in Southeastern are female.

Training typically takes between 12 and 36 months, and apprenticeships are available across driving, customer service, business administration, mechanical and engineering and technical roles. Apprentices who do not have qualifications will study towards gaining their maths and English functional skills.


For more information please contact:

Mark Sands


07979 904 401


Go-Ahead press office

020 7799 8999 

About Go-Ahead 

Go-Ahead is a leading UK public transport operator, providing high quality services in the bus and rail sectors. Employing around 28,000 people across the country, over one billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our services each year. We are committed to operating our companies in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible way. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include the Department for Transport, Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities.

Notes to Editors

Case studies are available on request


[1] According to the CBI Apprenticeship Report, published September 2019

[2] Equivalent to A-Levels and introduced in 2018. For more information see