Apprenticeships

Here at Go-Ahead we understand the importance of apprenticeships and the vital role they play in upskilling our colleagues. We are the only public transport operator registered as an approved in-house provider of apprenticeships across both bus and rail.

We have set ambitious targets each year to bring in apprentices across our bus and rail companies.  In 2021 we're hiring more than 1,100 apprentices - that's nearly 100 a month.

We continue to deliver high-quality apprenticeships that give colleagues the time to develop the knowledge, skills and behaviours that will enhance their careers. 

 

1,100+

The number of apprentices we're hiring in 2021

750

The number of apprentices we hired in 2020 (lower due to the impact of Covid-19)

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Why we invest in apprenticeships

We don’t invest in apprenticeships just because it’s the right thing to do – apprenticeships help to improve employee retention, upskill our workforce and bring more diversity into our business.

Apprenticeships benefit both employee and employer by creating a motivated, qualified workforce with higher productivity. Apprentices also bring in new ideas, which helps us to continually innovae and secure our position in the future of transport. 

Apply for an apprenticeship

We offer a variety of apprenticeships at different levels, including immediate, advanced, higher and degree-level. All opportunities are listed through our operating companies’ job portals, which you can access below.

700

Go-Ahead London's apprentice target in 2021 

200

GTR's apprentice target for 2021

About apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is a job that helps you learn while you earn, providing you with the knowledge, skills and behaviours you need to gain a qualification. At Go-Ahead you’ll spend 20% of your time working towards an industry-recognised professional qualification, and the rest of the time gaining hands-on, practical experience.

Here is the journey that every apprentice must take:

  • Information
  • Eligibility
  • Initial assessment
  • Registration
  • Induction
  • Training
  • Hot topics
  • On-and-off-job learning
  • Assessment
  • Functional skills 
  • Gateway
  • End Point Assessment (EPA)
  • Certification

We offer high quality apprenticeships with a framework that provides structure and support. We offer a competitive salary and employee benefits reward package, as well as a friendly atmosphere that will help you learn.

The apprenticeship team will vary from one company to another, but you will receive high levels of support throughout your training programme no matter where you work. Your professional development will include classroom and online training. We offer mentoring and a structured plan to ensure your learning is captured through a range of on-the-job practical experience and/or placements to gain the full breadth of skill. 

You will receive help and guidance on the programme, including one-to-one support from your Line Manager and ongoing extended support from more experienced apprentices and supportive colleagues to give you a helping hand.

In order to undertake an apprenticeship, you must:

  • Have the Right to Work in the UK for the duration of your apprenticeship
  • Have lived in the UK/EEA for the past three years
  • Require significant and sustained new learning in your role
  • Not already be enrolled in funded learning

The entry requirements for an apprenticeship will depend on the industry, job role, employer and apprenticeship level. Each employer will specify what qualifications, skills or qualities are needed. The minimum duration for all apprenticeships is 12 months.

Higher and degree apprenticeships are available at Levels 4 to 7 (see the table below). Higher and degree apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete.

Name Level Equivalent educational level
Intermediate 2 5 GCSE passes
Advanced 3 2 A Level passes
Higher 4,5,6 and 7 Foundation degree and above
Degree 6 and 7 Bachelor's or master's degree

Applying for an apprenticeship can seem like a daunting task. Before you apply, ask yourself:

  • Which apprenticeship is right for me? 
  • Is it available at my location?
  • What can I bring to the business?

Remember – it doesn’t matter what age you are, as everyone can be an apprentice. 

Filling in the online form

  • Gather all the information you need, such as details of your academic qualifications.
  • Take your time to focus on your application. Give yourself plenty of time to fill it in.
  • Be thorough – review your application to see if you can add anything to support it.
  • Ask for an honest review – before hitting the ‘submit’ button, ask someone you trust to read through your application and give honest feedback.
  • Answer each question honestly. Don’t think of answers on what you think other people would write – it’s your personal answers we want to hear.

Types of apprenticeship

We offer the following types of apprenticeships across Go-Ahead. We also offer ad-hoc opportunities at all our bus companies across the UK – so keep a look out on their individual websites.

Level Role Status
Level 2 Passenger Transport Driver - Bus, Coach and Tram Current
Level 3 Bus and Coach Engineering Technician Current
Level Role Status
Level 3 Business Administrator Current
Level 2 Business Improvement Techniques Available from July 2020
Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner Current
Level 3 Customer Service Specialist Current
Level 7 Senior Leader Current
Level 3 Team Leader/Supervisor Current
Level 3 Train Driver Current
Level 5 Operations/Departmental Manager Current
Level 4 Passenger Transport Operations Manager Current
Level 3 Rail Engineering Technician Current

Initiatives we support

Go-Ahead supports several initiatives and programmes across the UK. We partner with industry leaders to make sure apprenticeships are at the top of the agenda. 

The Prince’s Trust

Our rail company GTR collaborates with youth charity, the Prince's Trust, on its 'Get into Railways' programme. This is a scheme that helps disadvantaged young people enter the rail sector. The scheme has generated £1.6m of social benefit to UK society over five years. 

Women with Drive

Go-Ahead London works with Transport for London to provide a two-week pre-apprenticeship programme called 'Women with Drive'. It's aimed at getting women in London to consider the bus sector as their next career. 

The Young Apprentice Ambassador Network

We support the Young Apprentice Ambassador Network (YAAN), a community of inspiring and driven apprentices who champion and promote apprenticeships by visiting schools, sharing experiences and promoting opportunities.Go-Ahead London is part of the London Apprenticeship Ambassador Network group. 

Institute of Transport technology pledge

We support the Institute of Technology's pledge to address key concerns with skills shortages across the transport industry. This is a government-backed project is led by the Queen Mary University of London.

Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce

We are part of the STAT working group. This is a working group of transport employers who collectively work to address the skills challenges the industry faces. The group reports into the Department for Transort to support the government's target to hire three million apprentices by the end of 2020. 

FAQs

This will depend on the job role and your prior qualifications and experience, so it is important that you keep your options open. It can be natural to assume that if you have reached a certain level or qualification, such as A-Levels, it might be the next step to move onto a Higher or Degree apprenticeship. However, this is not always the case. Some employers might require you to complete an 'Advanced Apprenticeship' first, so read the vacancy carefully. You might be surprised at the range of opportunities available.

If you have one of the following qualifications in English or maths, you may not be required to complete a functional skills exam:

  • GCSE grades 9-4 (current system)
  • GCSE grades A*-C (old system)
  • O-Level grades (A-C)
  • Other equivalent qualifications – check the job application 

You will need to provide evidence of your qualification, such as a valid certificate. Regardless of the qualifications you already hold, you will still need to take an initial assessment in maths and English, as well as a diagnostic assessment. 

There is no upper age limit for becoming an apprentice. Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16 to develop their skills and capability in the workplace.

It is similar to a school syllabus or curriculum. It provides the criteria against which you will be measured at the end-point assessment (EPA).

The Go-Ahead Group pays into a government levy that allows you time to do on-the-job learning during paid working hours.

With the right development, skills, knowledge and experience you could progress into a range of more senior roles. Many of our engineering directors in our bus companies are former apprentices. Apprenticeships provide the ideal platform for personal and professional development on which you can build and gain the relevant experience. 

The premise of apprenticeships is that you learn about the job you are already doing in greater detail and develop the skills you already have. So, the subject of your apprenticeship must apply to your current role, not one you aspire to have in the future. Therefore, to do an apprenticeship in accounting, you must be employed in an accountancy role.

Get in touch

Contact details

Susanna Dillon

+44 (0) 7970 001374

susanna.dillon@go-ahead.com

Address

The Go-Ahead Group plc
4 Matthew Parker Street
Westminster
London
SW1H 9NP