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Ivan Jepson, Director of Business Development at Gateshead College, with Zoe Gibbons and Sarah Cooper from Go North East's customer service team
Ivan Jepson, Director of Business Development at Gateshead College, with Zoe Gibbons and Sarah Cooper from Go North East's customer service team

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Go North East apprentices share customer service expertise with Gateshead College for ‘day in the life’ initiative

Two rising star apprentices at Go North East swapped roles with senior staff at Gateshead College last week, in a ‘day in the life’ experience to mark National Apprenticeship Week (4 - 8 March 2019).

With over 2,100 team members, Go North East is the region’s largest bus operator, and is committed to investing in local young talent, through bespoke apprenticeship schemes in partnership with Gateshead College. Ivan Jepson, Director of Business Development at the college, visited the bus operator’s customer services team to fill the shoes of Zoe Gibbons and Sarah Cooper.

Zoe and Sarah were the first trainees to embark on its customer services apprenticeship in 2017. Now in permanent advisor roles, they are studying for the level 3 qualification, and are responsible for sharing their expertise with new apprentices.

Learning what it takes to be a highly skilled apprentice, the duo guided Ivan through providing customers with direct open and honest communication, which the award-winning in-house team delivers 363 days-a-year, seven-days-a-week via phone, live web chat and social media.

24-year-old Sarah was named Multi-Channel Advisor of the Year finalist at the recent North East Contact Centre Awards. She said: “Ivan did a great job on the phones. He’s obviously a natural when it comes to customer service. I think he would be a great addition to the team if he ever wants a change of career.”

Ivan Jepson added: “It’s always a huge pleasure to meet the young people that are learning through the college and to see how we are helping to shape their future careers and give them the employment edge.

“Stepping into the customer service role was a great challenge and I enjoyed every minute. The best part of the day was learning from our apprentices, who were so knowledgeable and really confident as they showed me the ropes.”

For more information about Go North East and how to apply, visit




On the Go since 1913

Around 175,000 journeys are made on Go North East bus services every day to travel around this wonderful region. Travelling to work or education, to visit friends and family, to have a night out, or to visit one of the region's many tourist and leisure attractions.

For over 100 years, Go North East has connected the region's towns and villages with the cities of Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland and currently operates across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and into Tees Valley.

Employing over 2,000 local people, with a fleet of almost 700 buses and coaches and an annual turnover of £100m, the company is the regional subsidiary of the Go-Ahead Group plc, one of the UK's leading providers of passenger transport.

Go North East
117 Queen Street
NE8 2UA Gateshead