Featured Apprentice Story
Apprentice Bus Driver Kemisha Hartley works at Croydon bus garage for Go-Ahead London. Her apprenticeship means that she has been learning how to drive a London bus around the capital and transport passengers safely from A to B. Despite the obstacles that she has faced in the last few years, she has been able to complete her apprenticeship and be a role model to other women in transport.
Covid-19 presented challenges that no one could have imagined. However, we quickly embraced and adapted a flexible contingency plan for our apprentices. We offered virtual and online assessments to enable apprentices to continue the programme. Working in collaboration with the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Educational Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) we ensured that key workers such as healthcare professionals could get to work.
Our apprentice bus drivers faced a number of challenges during this time. Yet their determination and commitment to the programme and their communities was admirable. They demonstrated the importance of public transport workers in the UK.
On top of this, Kemisha also suffers from a serious condition, and was unable to drive during the lockdowns in 2020. Despite this, she continued to study at home to ensure she could complete her apprenticeship and gain her written qualifications. Kemisha was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age and has difficulty reading and spelling. This made it difficult for her to pass her Functional Skills tests in English and Maths – a qualification she needed to pass her bus driver apprenticeship. But she refused to give up. She revised for hours in her own time, eventually passing both tests. Her assessors commented on her outstanding performance, work ethic and determination to succeed.
Kemisha is one of Go-Ahead’s most improved apprentice bus drivers and won the bus driver of the year award at the Go-Ahead London apprenticeship awards ceremony. She is now driving a big red London bus every day and showing others how important it is to remain resilient during difficult times.