A Hull bus company is preparing for a huge recruitment drive to take on 600 new apprentices.
Stagecoach, which runs services across the city, has pledged to more than double the number of apprenticeships by taking on a massive new team during the course of the year.
The firm is the only bus and coach operator to run a training programme across each of the areas it operates in, including in Hull and East Yorkshire where it operates under the Stagecoach East Midlands banner.
The scheme is run across a 12-month programme of everything from practical training to classroom-based learning.
It is hoped that they will be able to boast 1,000 driving apprentices and 200 new engineers by the end of 2020.
Thirty four Stagecoach employees have already completed the course to date, with a further 100 expected to have finished it by the summer. They are the first in the country to have achieved the qualification.
Caroline Crozier, a former school teaching assistant, is among the first to have completed the bus driver apprenticeship.
She said: "I wanted a complete change of career and the bus driver apprenticeship programme with Stagecoach came up as an opportunity.
"It’s a great programme, you get support from your peers and assessors all the way through which is really helpful, and the on-the-job learning really helps you get to grips with everything easily and quickly.
“Our apprenticeship team was like a little community and I regularly see drivers who were on the programme with me and give them a nod to say hello.
"I really enjoy being a bus driver and would recommend the apprenticeship and a bus driving career to anybody. One of the highlights of my day is seeing some of my regular passengers, including a lovely chap who brings me a newspaper every day!”
Describing the need for the next wave of apprentices, Stagecoach chief executive Martin Griffiths said: "Our people are fundamental to ensuring we keep communities across the country connected.
"We are proud to lead the bus and coach industry by investing in apprenticeships and creating 600 new learner opportunities in 2020.
"Apprenticeships bring huge value to our business in terms of talent and diversity. Whether you're a school leaver or somebody who wants a change of career, an apprenticeship programme is a great opportunity to earn while you learn and kick start your career in the transport industry."
Anyone wanting to find out more can visit the firm's bus driver and engineering web pages.