A YOUNG Wearsider will be helping to keep buses on the move thanks to his new apprenticeship.
Chris Stobbs, 22, is one of four young men who have been taken on as apprentices by Stagecoach North East to train as engineers.
The Sunderland man, who was already employed by the company cleaning buses in the evenings, said he was delighted with his new role.
He said: “As a former joiner, I’m used to working with wood and the skills required are very similar.
“Although the training has only just started, I’m really enjoying learning the basics and have been making panels for the sides of buses. I’m getting a really good insight into what engineering is all about and look forward to developing a long-term career within the company.”
Chris will be joined by three fellow apprentices, Steven Bell, David Burlinson and Chris Smith, who all live in the region, and all four will be getting hands-on practical training alongside periods of study at S & B Academy in Bristol, which provides automotive training.
Stagecoach North East offers apprenticeship opportunities across the region in mechanical, body repair and electrical engineering.
As part of the training programme, every apprentice is guided by a nominated mentor from the company who will provide support and advice throughout the four-year scheme.
Kim Teasdale, mentor for Chris Stobbs, said: “As Chris has worked at Stagecoach North East, we already know that he has a very strong work ethic, a great attitude and good timekeeping.
“He has gained the attention of management at the company through his hard work and thoroughly deserves this opportunity.”
The four-year programme involves a combination of residential training undertaking the Technical Certificate in Transport Engineering Maintenance and on the job training at a local depot.
All four apprentices are learning all aspects of vehicle maintenance through their workshop experience, in preparing vehicles for service and annual MoT test.
On successful completion of the training, the apprentices will be awarded an Apprenticeship in Transporting Engineering Maintenance and have the opportunity to become a licensed member of The Institute of Road Transport Engineers.
l Jobs supplement starts on Page 39