Bus, Coach and HGV investment to create North West and national engineering hub

Total People official launch of the new bus, coach and HGV engineering hub.

Total People is driving forward Bus, Coach and HGV success thanks to a £750k investment in its South Manchester training facilities by parent company, LTE Group.

The customised facility, based at the Wythenshawe Campus of The Manchester College, will focus on bus, coach and HGV engineering. Not only will it support current apprentices and employers but it will also provide higher vocational training for learners across LTE Group and in time, support new skills in green vehicle and electric vehicle technologies.

Helping to officially launch the hub on Thursday (13 May) was former racing driver and TV favourite Vicki Butler-Henderson, who visited the newly refurbished site and dedicated logistics bay. 

The Fifth Gear and former Top Gear presenter toured the workshop and classroom spaces, before meeting Total People engineering apprentices and learning all about their industry focused training and skills. 

Total People is set to create a North West and national hub for Bus, Coach and Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) engineering apprenticeships, with the investment allowing the next generation of engineering apprentices to #leadthefuture. 

The dedicated training facility to the rear of the campus has been customised to meet the specific needs of the HGV curriculum. The investment includes:

  • the installation of large roller shutter doors to accommodate large HGV vehicles
  • a brand new mezzanine area for classroom based learning 
  • new mechanical and electrical services installations which provide specialist ventilation, lighting, power and data.

In addition, learners can refine their industry-standard engineering skills on a Dennis Dart ADL model vehicle which was donated by one of Total People’s employer partners, First Bus.

The redevelopment is part of the LTE Group’s £140m Estates Strategy, which is set to transform the city’s education provision. The strategy includes the building of a brand new Manchester city centre campus for Total People’s further education partner, The Manchester College, and higher education provider, UCEN Manchester.

John Thornhill, LTE Group chief executive, said: “The official launch of the latest stage of our Group’s ongoing investment in training and skills across Greater Manchester is a fantastic achievement.

As a Group, we’re proud to be supporting Total People’s vision to become an industry-recognised leading provider of Bus and Coach engineering programmes both regionally and nationally.

Melanie Nicholson, Total People Managing Director, said: “Today’s launch marks a fantastic opportunity for all our Bus and Coach apprentices who travel from across the country to access our excellent training programmes and high quality provision.

“I’d like to thank First Bus for their generous donation and ongoing support.

I look forward to working with employers across the sector to help provide the next generation of skilled engineers.

Vicki Butler-Henderson said: "I am delighted to be part of Total People's new hub which will help so many in the bus, coach and HGV sectors to #leadthefuture.

Apprenticeships and vocational training hone the skills needed for specific jobs, such as big vehicle engineers.

Kevin Farricker, Engineering Manager for First Bus Manchester, which has three apprentices on Total People programmes, said: “The next generation of engineers are now working on the next generation of buses, as electric, hydrogen and other zero-emission engine technologies evolve. The need for knowledge and skills to support these vehicles will increase as First Bus and other operators invest in greener fleets to reduce carbon and improve air quality.

Facilities like this one provide a tremendous opportunity to build a pipeline of highly skilled bus engineers. 

Find out more about our Commercial Vehicle apprenticeships.

(Image L-R)  Councillor Paula Appleby, Greater Manchester Transport Committee, Fifth Gear presenter Vicki Butler-Henderson, Philip Johnson, Chair of LTE Group Board, John Thornhill, LTE Group Chief Executive, Barry Lynch, Total People Chair, and Melanie Nicholson, Total People Managing Director.   

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