Shaping Portsmouth’s Apprenticeship Bus Tour receives overwhelmingly positive response from schools

In April this year, we ran our Apprenticeship Bus tour for the fourth time, and the first time back after missing a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Apprenticeship Bus travels around the city, taking apprentices from Portsmouth-based businesses and organisations into schools, giving students a chance to meet them face to face and get a real insight into what life is like as an Apprentice.

Between Tuesday 26th April and Thursday 28th April 2022, the bus visited nine schools in the city, with our 35 Apprentice volunteers meeting a total of 856 students, almost double the number participating in 2020.

The feedback from the schools has been overwhelmingly positive, with all schools visited stating that the event had had a positive impact on their pupils and that the pupils had learned more about apprentices as a result.

School staff said that they could also see their students’ attitudes changing in the room during the session with their confidence growing considerably, and there was a real buzz in the room by the end of the hour. Others said that students were surprised by the variety of apprenticeships that were available, having assumed they were all in trades and engineering, and that now a significant number had their hearts set on an apprenticeship.

In one case a student was able to have a conversation with an apprentice from BAE Systems, having already put in an application for an apprenticeship there. The apprentice said he was so impressed with the student he would be happy to provide them with a character reference.

All schools said they would participate in the event again in future.

Stef Nienaltowski, CEO of Shaping Portsmouth, said “As we enter our fifth year of running this significant programme with our senior schools, I am more convinced than ever of its value. Everyone I talk to in and out of the schools are so positive about the contribution this programme has to those year 10s and 11s as they make their next life choices. We aim to make this 2023 delivery the biggest and best yet.”

The Apprenticeship Bus tour will return for National Apprenticeship Week, between the 6th and 12th of February 2023.
If your business employs apprentices and you would like to get involved, please email