Age is no barrier for bus driver apprentice Mark


At the age of 56, Mark Gretton may not be of the profile typically associated with someone embarking on an apprenticeship programme.

Yet, as National Apprenticeship Week is celebrated, West Sussex-based Mark has not only had a significant career change to become a bus driver but is also on the cusp of completing his level two passenger transport apprenticeship qualification

“The message from me is you are never too old to do an apprenticeship.” 

Mark Gretton

Mark’s story:

“I started my apprenticeship about a year ago and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” said Mark, who lives in Lancing and drives buses for Stagecoach around Worthing. 

“I was employed for 12 years as a maintenance and facilities manager and worked every day during the pandemic but things changed so I decided to pursue a new opportunity. 

“I saw the bus driver opportunity with Stagecoach and that career was always on my bucket list so I thought, why not? 

“I’ve loved every minute of it and to be able to get a qualification through my apprenticeship at the same time is a real bonus.” 

Mark’s experience with Realise

Having quickly secured his Passenger Carrying Vehicle Licence to enable him to begin driving buses which he now does daily across Worthing, Brighton and Midhurst, Mark has continued his apprenticeship programme with Realise, a leading training provider. 

Realise’s trainers have been delivering additional elements including driver wellbeing and customer service to make him a well-rounded bus driver and Mark added: “The team at Realise has been fantastic and very supportive and I’ve had great backing from my colleagues at Stagecoach. 

Mark continued:

“It’s been a bit strange going back into a learning environment as it’s been quite a few years since I’ve experienced that but I’ve enjoyed every minute of it and I will be very proud when I complete my apprenticeship in the next two months. 

“The message from me is you are never too old to do an apprenticeship.” 

Mark, who is a father of four, believes he is now settled in a role in local transport for the remainder of his working career. 

He added: “I think I’m well suited to the job. I try to be bright and bubbly every day and having such a public-facing role is ideal for me. 

“I’ve already won a couple of Star of the Month awards at my depot but it’s been for doing things which just come naturally like helping an old lady who was being harassed by a few youngsters. 

“I’ve got some ambitions of trying to move into the customer service side at Stagecoach but I can’t see myself not being involved in public transport in some way until the day I retire.” 

Do you want to kick start your career?

If you want to find out about how you can become a Realise apprentice click on the link and start the conversation now!

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