THE borough is now the home of Arriva first training academy, which will take in engineering apprentices from the North West and Wales

Arriva has opened the doors to a brand new in-house training academy for between five and 10 new apprentices per year.

These will join Arriva’s current apprentices taking on the four-year scheme, which combines classroom based theory training with practical on-site training at depots.

The academy, on Jackson Street, has been re-developed from part of Arriva St Helens’ garage and will have two classrooms that can hold up to 20 students, as well as a practical room with state of the art equipment, an IT Suite and kitchen.

Michelle Drummond, HR business partner at Arriva North West and Wales, said: “After running a successful apprenticeship scheme for more than twenty years, we hope that centralising all training in our St Helens academy will help us develop more future managers whilst making our apprenticeship scheme even more successful.”

After completing the course, which is a collaboration with the S&B Automotive Academy Ltd, all students will be fully qualified in their chosen discipline.

This is either electrical, mechanical or coachbuilding engineering.

They will then be encouraged and mentored to apply for the vacancies that arise in their chosen area of expertise.

Many students from the apprenticeship scheme have since gone on to become engineering managers within the company.

Dave Smith, fleet engineer and manager of the training programme, who started out as an apprentice, added: “The North-West Training academy is a great place for those looking to embark on a successful career as an engineer.

“Arriva has worked closely with S&B Automotive to provide a training course that is tailored specifically to help students attain a fully certified PCV qualification, something which will stand them in good stead to help them hit the ground running once qualified.”