A Total People engineering apprentice has become the first in the bus industry to join an influential panel advising the Government on the content of training courses and apprenticeships.
David John, who is working with leading transport operator First Bus, has been invited by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfA) to represent engineering on its apprentice panel, which ensures the views of apprentices are included in national reforms to technical education.
David found out about his appointment a week before National Apprenticeship Week (3-9 February), which also saw the launch of Total People’s £1million in 100 days campaign encouraging large employers to gift unused levy funds to help SME growth through apprenticeships.
He said: “I was really elated to find out I’m on the panel. There is a changing culture in the approach to apprenticeships and I’m pleased to be part of that.
“I’m looking forward to that part of our activity. It’s going to be interesting to have the responsibility for expressing our ideas and concerns on behalf of apprentices and see how we can make a difference.”
David, known as ‘DJ’ by his colleagues, is in the second year of his apprenticeship at First Hampshire and Dorset and is training at its depot in Hilsea, Portsmouth. He joined the company as a bus driver in 2016 after a career in the Royal Navy where he served for seven years in its logistics corps.
In addition to his engineering learning at First Bus, he will now join with panel members every month to discuss current issues and meet with government ministers and officials.
Kash Barlow, Operations Director at Total People, said: “DJ is a remarkable and personable apprentice. He has shown exemplary, ambassadorial leadership and team skills with his peers having supported our learner voice initiative in the Automotive department.
“DJ is so deserving of such an opportunity and we at Total People are sure he will be a great success on the panel.”
First Bus has 160 apprentices learning in its Engineering team and Shared Services, which provides central support to group functions including customer services, HR, digital products and fleet operations and is looking to add a further 50 this year.
Ian Warr, Engineering Director of First Bus, said:
Apprentices are the only way to secure a sustainable future for our engineering teams nationally and internationally as the lack of skilled engineers in industry continues.
“Having a voice on the panel ensures that First Bus and its apprentice community are well represented through DJ as he has demonstrated the calibre, passion and aptitude to secure this very trustworthy position.”
Find out more about being a First Bus engineering apprentice on our Total People blog page.