Johnson turns a childhood interest into a successful career


Johnson completed a level 2 passenger transport apprenticeship, and we caught up with him to find out why he decided an apprenticeship was the best way to pursue his passion.

An early fascination with the transport sector

By completing a Stagecoach passenger transport apprenticeship with Realise, Johnson Lai was able to turn his childhood enthusiasm for the transport sector, into a great career.

Johnson has been interested in transport since he was a child. From family visits to Hong Kong to the classic big red London bus, Johnson said he has “been a fan of buses since a young boy” and that they will “will always have a special place in [his] heart.”

These memories and experiences meant that Johnson began to develop an interest the transport industry and he decided that he wanted to learn more about it.

Getting started with his apprenticeship

Before Johnson started his apprenticeship, he worked in a bakery. Whilst he enjoyed working with a variety people, he strived to do more and invest in his passion. 

We asked Johnson why he decided to make a change and apply for an apprenticeship, he explained: “I wanted to do something which opens more doors for me.

I decided to do a transport apprenticeship and I applied for a job with Stagecoach. I was told about Realise apprenticeships and I thought they sounded good.”  

Learning with Realise in challenging times

During Covid-19, our apprentices had to start working from home. Our trainers worked hard to ensure that their learners were kept up to date with their learning. 

Although learning from home was hard for our apprentices, Johnson said that “the trainers and teachers, resources and guidance were great.” 

Johnson also mentioned the support he received whilst working from home saying that, “the trainers and coaches were there 24 hours a day to help us. This meant working from home was great!”  

My Realise apprenticeship was a great learning opportunity…every minute was mesmerising!

Johnson on his experience of a Realise transport apprenticeship

Johnson has developed a better understanding of his job role and has shown confidence. He has been a great role model to all.

Natalie Buxton-Leonard, Realise training and development officer

A Realise apprenticeship will give you a lot of information about your chosen industry

Johnson Lai

Looking back on his apprenticeship

Johnson reflected on his apprenticeship, his relationships with the coaches, and everything he has learnt, Johnson told us that “the whole apprenticeship was brilliant, every minute was mesmerising.”   

Whilst talking about the Realise trainers, Johnson said, “My Realise development coach Natalie Buxton-Leonard had a massive impact on me during my apprenticeship. Anytime I needed help or question answering, I gave her a quick text and she would reply straight away.”  

Natalie was as impressed with Johnson, saying: “Not only has Johnson gained new knowledge, but he has developed a better understanding of his job role and has shown confidence. He has been a great role model to all.”  

Johnson’s advice to others…

Sometimes taking the leap and applying for an apprenticeship can feel daunting so we wanted to hear Johnson’s advice for someone who is on the fence about doing an apprenticeship. 

He said: “It is a fantastic opportunity for someone who knows nothing or little about the job. A Realise apprenticeship will give you a lot of information about your chosen industry.”  

Driving forward

It is clear Johnson has done extremely well on his apprenticeship and has exciting opportunities ahead of him.

As Richard Neale, Operations Manager of the Stagecoach Rugby Depot, said:  “Johnson has a bright future lying in wait for him” and we couldn’t agree more. Congratulations Johnson!

Do you want to be in the driving sear when it comes to your future?

If you want to develop your skills, achieve your potential, and earn whilst you learn an apprenticeship could be for you. To find out more about our courses click on the tab below or chat to one of our colleagues.