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Translink, operating as Ulsterbus, Metro, Northern Ireland Railways and NITHCo, operates 1284 buses and coaches, providing the Northern Ireland public with comprehensive stage carriage, express and school transport services.

This extensive provision requires modern and varied engineering facilities which are located throughout the province. In order to maintain and develop the highest standards of engineering, we have devised a 4 year Apprenticeships scheme across various locations in Northern Ireland.

All apprentices are fully employed by Translink from the first day of their apprenticeship, for the duration of the apprenticeship, demonstrating our commitment to their future within the Company. Apprentices will undertake either a Technical trades apprenticeship or a Body trades apprenticeship. Apprentice performance is consistently monitored and appraised.


Technical Trades

The Technical Trades Apprenticeship is four years in duration. With today's modern vehicle it is recognised that training in a combination of mechanical and electrical systems is essential. To ensure that adequate training on both systems is provided we take the apprentice through four NVQs i.e. Mechanical and Electrical at level 2, Mechanical and Electrical at level 3.

We understand that this is demanding, however, to quip our apprentices with the knowhow and skills required for the future we believe this approach not only caters to meet these requirements but also instils confidence in the apprentice ensuring they are competent in both trades.

Apprentices attend college one day per week, the remaining four days is spent at an Ulsterbus/Metro workshop where the college training is put into practice. Training in the workplace is an extension to what happens in college where it is necessary to record specific tasks undertaken in order to meet performance criteria thus building a portfolio of evidence.


Body Trades

The Body Trades apprenticeship is four years in duration and combines the skills of three core trades i.e. Sheet Metal, Body Building and Painting. As an appropriate qualification incorporating training on these three skills could not be sourced in N. Ireland, our Body Trades Apprentices attend college in Coventry, England, where they undertake a specific Coach & Bus Body qualification. It is a three year course with each year split into four three week blocks.

The Company organises for Apprentices to fly home at weekends (if they choose to do so) so they attend college Monday - Friday. Accommodation with host families is organised by the college. If preferred, the college will endeavour to place Apprentices together with their host family. The host family provide a breakfast and an evening meal each day.

It is very much a home from home feel, with much effort to cater for all student requirements. When not at college Apprentices attend an Ulsterbus/Metro workshop. Training in the workplace is an extension to what happens in college, where it is necessary to record specific tasks undertaken in order to meet performance criteria thus building a portfolio of evidence.


Apprentice Profile

  • Applicants will need a minimum of 5 GCSE's at Grade C or above or equivalent, including Maths and English, or be expecting to obtain these by closing date.

  • They must be computer literate with experience of using word processing and spreadsheet packages.

  • They must also be able to demonstrate a practical hands-on approach and be a team player with a positive attitude, be hard working, committed and determined, self-motivated, with excellent communication skills, and have an understanding of how to deliver excellent customer service.

  • Whilst not essential, it would be beneficial for applicants to have had involvement in an engineering-related activity and/or possess a relevant engineering qualification.


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