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North East young people who have completed National Citizen Service (NCS) are guaranteed first interviews for the award-winning Stagecoach North East apprenticeship scheme, thanks to a collaboration launched this week.

Stagecoach North East is now recruiting for its four-year Bus Engineers’ programme across all six depots in South Shields, Newcastle, Sunderland, Teesside and Hartlepool. All young people who meet the minimum entry requirements and have completed the skill-boosting NCS programme are being guaranteed a first interview.

NCS graduate Simeon Sayer, 16 from Whitley Bay, said: “Having done NCS, I know first-hand that it develops the skills and confidence needed to get on in life and work. It’s brilliant that Stagecoach North East is recognising this by offering guaranteed apprenticeship interviews for NCS graduates.”

Through NCS, teenagers experience the freedom of living away from home, broaden their networks and horizons, and develop vital skills that are valued by employers. As well as enjoying adrenalin-filled and skill-building activities, they work in teams to deliver a community project that tackles an issue they are passionate about. Last year, participants contributed over 229,000 volunteering hours – representing an investment of £962,000 in the region’s economy.

Steve Walker, Managing Director of Stagecoach North East, said: “The NCS programme is a tremendous opportunity for young people in the region to develop an excellent range of skills before pursuing their chosen career paths. We hope that by offering a guaranteed first interview to NCS graduates, we’re enhancing this great initiative and contributing to its success.”

Maxine Tennet, Director of Operations for vInspired, which together with National Youth Agency (NYA) delivers NCS in the North East, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for NCS graduates, who’ve already built skills and had real world work experience through the programme. Stagecoach North East is demonstrating commendable vision and is supporting life-changing opportunities for young people in our region.”

Paul Carbert, Policy Adviser at North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted two Chamber members are joining together to help young people get started in their career. NCS is an excellent scheme for building employability skills and resilience so it is good to see that Stagecoach North East has recognised the value of this for their apprenticeship scheme.”

Guaranteed first interviews for the Stagecoach North East apprenticeship scheme, starting September/October, are on offer to NCS graduates in the North East, who can apply online at STAGECOACHBUS.COM.

Thousands of North East young people have already secured their place on the next NCS programme, which is open to all 16-17 year olds and takes place during the summer school holidays. Places cost just £50 (£10 for those eligible for free school meals), which includes residential stays, transport, food, training, activities and more. Teenagers who are yet to book are urged to visit NCSNORTHEAST.CO.UK or call 0191 247 4020 to reserve their place.

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