This National Apprenticeship Week (3-7 February 2020), award-winning bus company Go North East is celebrating its engineering apprentices that help keep the wheels moving on its 700-strong fleet of buses.

The bus operator employs over 250 engineers and around 90% of those started out as apprentices including Colin Barnes, the company’s Engineering Director who joined Go North East when he was just 17-year-old.

Colin now leads on the company’s apprenticeships, in partnership with Gateshead College, and plays a fundamental role in providing the company with stars of the future.

As part of their apprenticeships, new recruits spend one day a week training using state-of-the-art equipment at Gateshead College’s £5.5 million Skills Academy for Automotive, Engineering, Manufacturing and Logistics at Team Valley in Gateshead.

The company currently has 25 engineering apprentices working at its locations across the North East and one of the top members of the team is Nathan Smith.

Nathan is in the 2nd year of his mechanical and electrical engineering apprenticeship and is based at Go North East’s depot in Chester-le-Street.

Commenting on his apprenticeship, the 20-year-old from South Hetton, said: “I really enjoy my role as an apprentice with Go North East as I am learning essential skills that will help throughout my life and career which wouldn’t be possible through any other development route.”

Colin Barnes, Engineering Director at Go North East, added: “We recognise that apprenticeships are a vital means for recruiting top young talent.

“We’re aware that there’s a shortfall of skilled engineering people, so our apprenticeships are designed to provide an increased amount of on the job training and give youngsters the best chance to develop a career with us.

“Starting out as an apprentice myself, I know just how rewarding apprenticeships can be and I’m delighted that we’re able to recruit more this year.”

Go North East will be looking to recruit another 8 apprentices from May with a start date of September.