Caitlin Gent, Assistance Commerical Engineer

TPE celebrates National Apprenticeship Week with inspiring stories of “skills for life”

TransPennine Express (TPE), which operates trains across the North and Scotland, is proud to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week by showcasing some of its invaluable colleagues who began their careers as apprentices.

This year’s theme, Skills for Life, highlights the lifelong impact of apprenticeships on professional journeys.

In a compelling video, TPE profiles four dedicated colleagues who started out as apprentices and have seamlessly integrated the skills acquired during their apprenticeships throughout their careers.

Paul Staples, Fleet, Safety and Service Delivery Director, who began his apprenticeship in 1989, said: “My apprenticeship gave me a valuable start, offering an overview of the entire company.

“It taught me skills such as resilience, perseverance, and problem-solving, which I continue to use. Above all, it taught me not to be afraid to ask for help, acknowledging that none of us know everything.

“I joined the rail industry in 2003 and have carried those initial skills throughout a variety of roles, including my more recent position of director.”

Caitlin Gent, Assistant Commercial Engineer, said: “Moving around different areas of the business at TransPennine Express during my two apprenticeships allowed me to experience several different departments. This helped me to understand how each area interacts, providing a holistic perspective that’s invaluable in my current role.”

Leeanne Matuszczyk, Fleet Maintenance Planner, who had an unconventional journey to rail, said: “I started my apprenticeship in 2003 in the Royal Air Force. This slightly different route allowed me to learn military training alongside my engineering apprenticeship, providing valuable on-the-job experience in an operationally tough environment. It gave me confidence, people skills, and excellent time management – things I wouldn’t have learned in a traditional classroom setting.”

David Walker, Head of Fleet Commercial, said: “A good apprenticeship takes you to areas of the business you never get to see, allowing you to form your development path and experience aspects of the business you may not know you want to be involved in.”

The video showcases the diverse career paths of these individuals, illustrating how the foundational skills gained during their apprenticeships continue to shape and enhance their performance and personal development.

TPE recognises the importance of investing in the development of its workforce, and is proud to be supporting and developing new talent within the industry. More information about TPE’s apprenticeship scheme can be found via the TPE website at:

To be notified when applications for the 2024 apprenticeship programme open, register at:

Notes to editors