Bus and coach operator Stagecoach has announced it is to recruit 600 extra apprentices during 2020.
The company made the pledge as it marks National Apprenticeship Week in England, which runs until February 9.
Stagecoach currently employs a total of around 550 driver and engineering apprentices across its operations in England, Scotland and Wales.
By the end of 2020, Stagecoach will employ around 1,000 driver apprentices and around 200 engineering apprentices.
The huge expansion of apprenticeships will see the company more than double the number of learners employed over the next ten months.
Martin Griffiths, chief executive, said: "Our people are fundamental to ensuring we keep communities across the country connected.
“We are proud to lead the bus and coach industry by investing in apprenticeships and creating 600 new learner opportunities in 2020.”
A total of 34 Stagecoach employees have gained their driver apprenticeship to date, with a further 100 expected to have completed the programme by the summer.
Stagecoach's engineering apprenticeship programme has run for more than 15 years, with a number of employees having gone on to develop their careers with the business.
Jemma Wood started at Stagecoach in 2011 as a mechanical apprentice with no knowledge of mechanics.
On qualifying, she became a vehicle inspector and in 2019 was promoted to deputy engineering manager.
She said: "It was never in my original plan to become an engineer – as a child, I wasn’t really interested in mechanics or engineering, I much preferred my Barbie dolls.
“In 2011, I was working in a big supermarket and not very happy with how things were going, and on the bus home from work, I saw the apprenticeship programme advertised and thought I’d give it a go.
“I really enjoyed the programme and would always advise people to go through an apprenticeship course, you can get your qualification whilst earning a decent wage and learn on the job at the same time.
Further details on apprenticeships are Stagecoach are at www.stagecoachbus.com.