Bus company grows its own engineers

Ryan Hunt (left) and Toby Driver in the Reading Buses workshop at Great Knollys Street Reading Buses

With skilled engineers in short supply, Reading Buses has taken the decision to continue to grow their own.

The Great Knollys Street workshop has increased its Guided Apprenticeship Scheme to four with the employment of Toby Driver and Ryan Hunt.

Toby, 17, of Woodley, will increase Reading Buses electrical capability, while Ryan, of Tilehurst – 18 on the day he started on August 4 – will follow a different apprenticeship path.

Chief Engineer John Bickerton said: “Ryan will be working mainly in our stores and supply department as a trainee parts person.

“He will be studying an NVQ in Business Administration rather than the traditional mechanical engineering.

“With skilled engineers in short supply, we have a very healthy apprenticeship programme which is all about growing the skills internally.”

He said the philosophy was similar to the training of bus drivers who built customer service experience through Reading Buses own brand that had become its standard approach.

“We are doing the same with apprentices,” said John.

Our policy is to grow the right skills and the right approach that we want at Reading Buses.

“I am choosing to tailor the apprenticeships to fill gaps in our own skills which I can see coming up in the next five years. Toby and Ryan fit that very well.”

The pair bring the engineering team at Reading Buses to 66.