Go-Ahead is now able to offer apprenticeships across its rail and bus operations after receiving certification from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).
The company said it was the first time a combined train and bus operator had achieved ESFA accreditation. It means Go-Ahead, which runs the GTR franchise through its joint venture with Keolis, can offer apprenticeships without using a training provider.
Go-Ahead said it plans to employ more than 300 apprentices a year. The first intake will join the company later this year.
Group chief executive David Brown said: “Go-Ahead is an employer that invests in its people, and that includes both existing staff and future talent.
“The team worked hard to achieve the ESFA accreditation, and I am delighted that we now offer both apprenticeships and a graduate scheme.”
Go-Ahead has previously worked with the Princes Trust to deliver four-week “pre-apprenticeship” programmes. To date, 100 young people have completed the course with GTR – three-quarters of those were subsequently offered a permanent role.
Neil Robertson, chief executive of the National Skills Academy for Rail (NSAR) said: “The Go-Ahead Group is a stalwart within the industry and achieving this status is testament to its ability to deliver exceptional quality training.”