News Releases

New East Midlands Trains engineering apprenticeship scheme launched

31 Oct 2012

- Four engineering apprentices recruited as part of new company scheme
- Joint apprenticeship programme supported by Derby College

East Midlands Trains has recruited its first four engineering apprentices as part of the company’s commitment to invest in workforce skills and tackle potential future skills shortages.

The Derby-based train operator has recruited four local young people based at its maintenance depots in Etches Park, Derby, and Eastcroft in Nottingham whilst attending Derby College’s Engineering Academy at the Roundhouse in Derby to complete mechanical and electrical engineering qualifications as part of their apprenticeship.

The new apprentices are Matthew Taylor (18) from Mickleover, Jamie Spooner (16) from Alvaston, Callum Howling (16) and Joshua Brear (17) who are both from Long Eaton.

All four applied for the apprenticeship through the national apprenticeship service website and are delighted to have the opportunity to earn whilst they learn and gain valuable work experience on the first step of their career ladder in engineering.

Former Long Eaton School pupil Joshua Brear is the third generation of his family to work in the railways. He said:  “I had wanted to follow in my family’s footsteps and work on the railway and I was really pleased to be accepted for the apprenticeship scheme.

“The railways are in my family blood and they are all really proud of me. I had considered going to university but didn’t want to be saddled with loads of debt.  The opportunity to earn whilst training is brilliant.”

Matthew Taylor, a former student at the JCB Academy in Rocester, said: “I have a real passion for engineering and regard myself as very fortunate to have this opportunity at East Midlands Trains.

“We have the opportunity to learn on the job and then gain further practical skills as well as theory tuition at College so it definitely is the best of both worlds.”

Callum Howling, a former pupil at Wilsthorpe School in Long Eaton, added: “I had applied for a lot of engineering apprentices as I knew that this was what I wanted to do but to have the chance to work on the railways is brilliant.”

And former Noel Baker School pupil Jamie Spooner continued: “I have always been interested in building things and wanted a job where I could put practical skills into practice.  I am the first in my family to work on the railways and am really enjoying it because we are getting all sorts of experience in different aspects of the depot’s work.”

Tim Sayer, Engineering Director for East Midlands Trains, explained the thinking behind the new Apprenticeship scheme: “These four apprentices are the first to be recruited by East Midlands Trains and we are really pleased to be welcoming them into our business.

“Derby has a long and proud heritage of railway engineering and we recognised the need to invest in the future of the maintenance side of the business – ensuring that we have the skills in place to continue our excellent track record in vehicle safety and reliability.

“The apprenticeship programme is a tried and test route to recruit and train young people and we are pleased to be working with Derby College to introduce this scheme into our business.”

April Hayhurst, Director of Employer Engagement at Derby College, added: "Companies across the industrial spectrum are recognising the business benefits of recruiting apprentices and we are delighted to be working with East Midlands Trains to support their first apprentices with nationally recognised engineering qualifications as part of their training.

"Apprenticeships are a recognised way of recruiting and training young people within a business and investing in the future - ensuring that they have the right people with the right skills to ensure the quality of the workforce long term and maintain their competitive edge."


Notes to Editors
Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, PR Officer, Derby College, Tel: 07951 945 665; or Emma Knight at East Midlands Trains, tel: 07771 830995 or

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East Midlands Trains

East Midlands Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, runs fast, frequent trains from and to London St Pancras International and key UK destinations throughout the East Midlands, including Leicester, Derby, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester and Liverpool. East Midlands Trains is currently investing over £40 million to improve stations across its network and every single passenger train within its fleet.
East Midlands Trains is committed to offering great value fares. Use the Best Fare Finder to search for cheap train tickets and book cheap train tickets to London and on more than 400 routes across the UK.

Stagecoach Group

Stagecoach Group is a leading international public transport group, with extensive operations in the UK, United States and Canada. The company employs 35,000 people and operates bus, coach, rail, and tram services.
Stagecoach is one of UK’s biggest bus and coach operators. Around 2.5 million passengers travel on Stagecoach's 7,700 buses every day on a network stretching from south-west England to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The company's business includes major city bus operations in London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Hull, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield and Cambridge.
Stagecoach is a major UK rail operator, running the South West Trains, Island Line and East Midlands Trains networks. It has a 49% shareholding in Virgin Rail Group, which operates the West Coast inter-city rail franchise.
Stagecoach also operates the Sheffield tram network.
In North America, Stagecoach operates around 1,900 buses and coaches in the United States and Canada. Budget coach service links around 80 key locations in North America. Stagecoach is also involved in operating commuter and transit services, as well as tours, charters, sightseeing tours and a small number of school bus services.