National Apprenticeship Week runs from February 5-11 and there’s some exciting opportunities in Huddersfield.

With the multi-billion TransPennine Rail Upgrade taking place, Network Rail and its supply chain partners have launched PlanBEE Rail, a bespoke apprenticeship programme to train the next generation of rail project managers. It’s a two-year programme with a starting salary of £22,000 a year.

And First Bus has chosen West Yorkshire as the location for its first ever bus driver apprenticeship scheme with the first seven drivers working out of depots in Huddersfield, Bradford and Halifax.

Kirklees College in Huddersfield trains more than 1,000 apprentices every year and throughout this week there are a host of events being held. These include talks from employers including Daisy Group, Ambutech and Connect Housing.

Apprenticeships are a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to earn while they learn and secure valuable on-the-job training.

Network Rail’s PlanBEE Rail will offer apprentices hands-on experience working on some of the UK’s most significant infrastructure projects, including the TransPennine Route Upgrade programme, the Digital Railway programme and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

Successful candidates will be based in Huddersfield and employed to learn on the job, with a starting salary of more than £22,000.

During the two-year programme, they’ll undertake four six-month placements working for leading employers in the rail sector including Alstom, AmcoGiffen, Amey, Balfour Beatty, BAM, Keltbray, Morgan Sindall, Murphy, Network Rail, Systra, TransPennine Express and Volker Rail.

Tim Craddock, HR director at Network Rail Eastern Region, said: “PlanBEE Rail is a fabulous opportunity to start a dynamic career in rail. It is not just a standard apprenticeship programme, it’s a strategic initiative to bring talent into the rail industry.

“This approach ensures that our apprentices will not only gain a valuable qualification but will get the opportunity to work with a range of employers across the sector.”

 Neil Holm, managing director of the TransPennine Route Upgrade (TRU), said: “PlanBEE Rail is a fantastic opportunity to develop a really rewarding career while supporting the rail industry, which offers an array of roles to work in.

“All of us at TRU fully support the initiative which reflects our commitment to nurturing a skilled workforce that can meet the evolving challenges of the sector.”

For more information about PlanBEE Rail or to enquire, visit:

First Bus has teamed up with training provider Realise to train more bus drivers. Apprenticeships are open to anyone with a standard UK driving licence.

Successful applicants will complete the Bus Driver Level 2 Passenger Transport Apprenticeship over a 13-month period. Practical bus driving training will be provided to guide apprentices through their Passenger Carrying Vehicle licence, as well as customer service training and functional skills learning in English and maths.

Angela Renfrew, director of talent and leadership development at First Bus, said: “The First Bus Driver Apprenticeship scheme is the catalyst to attract more young people and diversity into the business, as we strive to be more representative of the communities we serve.

“Candidates can earn a professional qualification that will support career progression opportunities within First Bus, enabling them to become valued transport professionals.

“We’re delighted to have more education and training options in our sector and to position bus driving as a rewarding and satisfying career choice that’s available to all. The apprenticeship is a great route for young people and adult learners to earn while they learn.”

Kirklees College offers apprenticeships in over 40 careers and works with hundreds of local, national and international employers.

As part of the Government’s Skills for Life campaign, this National Apprenticeship week the college will be focusing on how apprenticeships are a great way for people of all backgrounds, ages and experience to kick-start their career.

Helen Rose, director of external relations and apprenticeships at Kirklees College, said: “National Apprenticeship Week is a highlight of the Kirklees College calendar.

“As one of the largest apprenticeship providers in the region, and one of the top 10 colleges in England for apprenticeship achievement, our apprenticeships are a great source of pride for the college.

“This week, we will be celebrating the amazing work of our current apprentices and our partnerships with employers, without whom we wouldn’t be able to provide such a varied apprenticeship offer.”

Jason McCartney, Conservative MP for Colne Valley, endorsed the college’s apprenticeship provision and said: “With over 1,000 apprentices trained at Kirklees College every year they have an increasingly impressive reputation with local employers.

“I’m grateful for all their support when I hired an apprentice in my constituency office who was studying at Kirklees College.

“Earning whilst learning is a great option for many young people in our area and I’m delighted to see the positive partnerships being formed between the college and our major local companies.”

Later in the month, C+K Careers is organising the Kirklees 2024 Apprenticeship event on Tuesday February 27 from 4.30pm-7.30pm at the John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield.

This annual event provides visitors with the opportunity to talk to employers, colleges and apprenticeship providers to find out about their organisations and apprenticeship vacancies.

Students and their parents/carers will be able to talk to exhibitors and current apprentices. They will be able to access information, leaflets, details of live vacancies and C+K Careers advisers will be on hand to give individual advice and guidance.

All students are encouraged to attend, even if they already have an idea of what they plan to do in the future. Visitors do NOT need to book and can just turn up on the day.

Event sponsors include: FMG, HSL Manufacturing Ltd, Kirklees College, Kirklees Council and Nufarm. Other exhibitors include AHR, ALS Global, Cummins, Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, Lubrizol, Morgan Sindall Construction, Royal Airforce, Royal Navy, Reliance Precision, Vinci Building and Wooltex UK.

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