pic1Four employees from local bus operator Stagecoach North East have been recognised as top apprentices at the company’s 11th annual UK Bus Apprentice of the Year Awards at a ceremony at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester.

From the company’s Sunderland depot, Peter Billyard, 22 from Peterlee and 25-year-old Chris Stobbs from South Hylton in Sunderland were awarded Best Year 1 Depot Vote and Best Year 3 Peer Vote respectively.

Now in his second year of his apprenticeship, Peter was recognised for his efforts, after receiving the highest scores for punctuality, attendance, commitment, enthusiasm, motivation, ability and overall performance following the submission of a report by the depot management team.

Peter said: “I am really pleased with this award and I have learned so much in such a short space of time. The apprentice scheme is brilliant and has increased my skills and focused me towards a career in the transport industry.”

Chris Stobbs is now in his fourth year of the apprenticeship, and was chosen when all the apprentices in his class voted who they felt best deserved to win an award.

Two apprentices received awards for Best Year End of Block Tests, which are taken from the results of each test they sit at the end of every college block. Winning Year 1 was Joe Cowell, 22 from Linthorpe in Middlesbrough, now on his second year of apprenticeship and is based at the company’s Teesside depot in Stockton-on-Tees.