The Apprenticeship Bus hits the road

Our Apprenticeship Bus made its triumphant return as part of National Apprenticeship Week last week, visiting 10 secondary schools across the city over three days. Over the tour, 56 apprentices from local organisations met over 1000 pupils to introduce apprenticeships as a viable and exciting career path.

We received overwhelmingly positive feedback from the students who attended, with 73% saying the session had inspired them to consider an apprenticeship. When asked how we could improve for next year, by far the most common suggestion was that they wanted the sessions to be longer so they could spend more time speaking to the apprentices.

Simon Ingram, Programme Lead for the Apprenticeship Bus and Managing Director for Mountjoy, said “The Apprenticeship Bus Tour 2024 has been a resounding success. Our focus and purpose this year was to inspire students in Portsmouth to consider Apprenticeships as a viable and exciting career option. This raised the question of “how do we know?” and this year we have really focused on this by designing feedback cards for students to complete. Early feedback indication is highlighting we are inspiring students, and we are learning a great deal about how the 2025 Tour could be even better than this year. As lead of this fabulous programme, I am privileged and inspired by the commitment and dedication of the Apprentice Bus Team that delivers this programme, they all make my role easy. Special thanks must be given to Kirsty Hill and Chloe Bolton who exceeded all expectations, and I am very much looking forward to 2025 programme.”

Kirsty Hill, Education & Community Coordinator at Shaping Portsmouth, adds “What an incredible journey it’s been on the 2024 apprenticeship bus. Taking over the co-ordination of this already impressive programme was no mean feat, the amount of work and  planning that goes into the delivery of this programme is huge which is why as a first timer I most definitely couldn’t have achieved such amazing outcomes without the commitment and support of the wider Shaping Portsmouth team as well as Simon and Chloe, who along with many others worked tirelessly to make this year’s roadshow the best it could be.

“The apprentices who attended and engaged with the programme from organisations across the city were not only professional and inspirational but also honest and real about their apprenticeship journeys. Without them this programme wouldn’t happen. I hope that they will return next year for another exciting opportunity to promote and encourage young people to choose apprenticeships with businesses and industries from across our great city.

“As the Shaping Portsmouth Education Pillar lead, it is hugely important to me that we deliver the best programmes we can for the students that attend and engage in, so now with their insightful and honest real time feedback, we can work together to create and build a 2025 programme that will be our best yet.”

We would like to thank Stagecoach South for providing the bus (and Alice and Mark for getting us around the city), MediaFleet for the bus wrap, the schools that welcomed us, and the businesses that provided apprentices. In particular we would like to thank the organisational team for making the event happen, and Alice from Stagecoach who has driven the Apprenticeship Bus every year since it launched.