Information for Parents | Transport Training Services

TTS offers a range of automotive, transport and logistics industry apprenticeships throughout Northern Ireland.

A motor, transport or logistics industry apprenticeship opens doors for a very exciting and rewarding career in sectors that currently have huge skills shortages and therefore offer excellent long-term career prospects.

The most successful apprenticeship is one where an employer employs the apprentice from day one and has an interest and a stake in the young person’s career and progress.  At TTS we realise that when employers decide to make a commitment to employ an apprentice, they need to know that the person they are employing is interested in the career, is motivated to learn and is capable of succeeding.

The training is delivered on a block release basis, where the apprentice attends TTS approximately one week every two months for training and then returns to work with the employer for the remainder of the time. Most apprentices are in full time employment five days per week (Monday to Friday).  Attendance at the TTS training centre in Nutts Corner is from 9am to 4pm (Monday-Thursday) and 9am to 3pm (Friday), and includes a unique blend of workshop practical tasks, classroom theory and e-learning. At TTS apprentices receive a minimum of 50% workshop practical training.  Further training time may be scheduled for Maths, English and ICT, if GCSE grade Cs have not been achieved at school.

If your son/daughter is successful in securing an apprenticeship place with us, he/she must understand from the outset that they are making a three-year commitment to the apprenticeship.  This also means that an employer is making at least a three-year commitment to your son/daughter!  Because both parties are invested for the duration there is a strong likelihood that our apprentices will go on to have a career with their employer post-qualification. It is rare for an employer to let an apprentice go after the three years, because when they are fully qualified this is when they become most valuable to an employer.

TTS is consistently praised for its support of apprentices. We have a dedicated Careers Development Officer who is the link between the apprentice and the employer and is there to provide ongoing support to ensure each apprentice is developing well and integrating successfully into his/her workplace.

Apprenticeships are available for candidates who are eligible for Apprenticeships NI which are funded by the Department for the Economy.  Historically, only those aged 16-24 were eligible for an Apprenticeships NI scheme but in September 2023, the Department for the Economy launched ‘All Age Apprenticeships’ which lifted the age restriction to allow people of any age to apply for an apprenticeship.  However, for those young people enrolled on our courses there is an added element of pastoral care.

You can find out everything you need to know about our apprenticeships on our FAQ section below.


  • All TTS apprentices are on the payroll with their employer from day one, earning a decent wage while they learn.
  • TTS is an accredited training provider offering nationally recognised qualifications, delivered by expert trainers.
  • We have well-established apprenticeship partnerships with the main employers in the motor, transport and logistics sectors in Northern Ireland.
  • Our training centre is a purpose-built, professional environment, with modern vehicles and specialist equipment.
  • We offer modern teaching methods with an enviable 50% minimum workshop practical training.
  • TTS apprentices get more from their learning with our five-day ‘block release’ training model. This delivery model is also preferred by employers.
  • Our dedicated Careers Development Officer is responsible for apprentices’ welfare throughout the programme.
  • TTS has an excellent 97% apprenticeship completion rate.


  • What is a Motor/Transport Industry Apprenticeship?

    According to the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) an apprenticeship is “a work-based training programme that provides the learner with practical skills through on-the-job training combined with theoretical knowledge through off-the-job learning”.  

    A TTS apprenticeship is a three-year employment opportunity which provides paid work experience and nationally recognised qualifications, meaning your son/daughter can earn while learning his/her trade.

    Transport Training Services is a social enterprise focusing on apprenticeships and career development training specifically for the retail motor trade and transport industry in Northern Ireland.  Backed by over 50 years’ experience as a leading, recognised transport training service provider, our advice is sought after and trusted around the UK and Ireland.  As a wholly owned subsidiary of the registered charity, Transport Training Board for Northern Ireland, TTS has a genuine, longstanding interest in promoting apprenticeships to young people in Northern Ireland to secure the future workforce of these sectors.  Currently there are not enough qualified technicians and professional drivers to meet the demand, which is good news for qualified people because it means there is a high likelihood of job security.

    Your son/daughter must understand from the outset that he/she is making a three-year commitment to the apprenticeship.  This also means that an employer is making at least a three-year commitment to your son/daughter! Because both parties are invested for the duration there is a strong likelihood that you will have a career with your employer post-qualification.  It is rare for an employer to let an apprentice go after the three years, because when he/she is fully qualified this is when he/she becomes most valuable to an employer.


  • How Do I Find a Motor, Transport or Logistics Industry Apprenticeship for My Son/Daughter?

    TTS offers more than 10 different types of apprenticeship in Northern Ireland, all in the motor or transport industry.  You can search our apprenticeship courses here to find out more about each.  If you would like to know more or have any questions about your son or daughter’s suitability you can contact Robert Deignan, our Careers Development Officer, who can help you pick the right apprenticeship.   Find Robert’s contact details here.

  • What Motor Industry Apprenticeships Do TTS Offer?

    We offer a range of apprenticeships related to the motor and transport industries.  In the motor industry we offer apprenticeships in technical roles and customer service. 

    Our full list of motor industry apprenticeships include:

    We also offer management, team leading and customer service apprenticeships.

  • What Transport/Logistics Industry Apprenticeships Do TTS Offer?
  • What are TTS’s Facilities Like?

    Transport Training Services has an impressive training centre including modern conference facilities; a variety of fully equipped training rooms and computer suites; a vehicle manoeuvring area; vehicle maintenance workshops and a vehicle body repair workshop which houses a paint booth and paint mixing facility.

    Take the Virtual Tour:

  • How Do I Find a Motor, Transport or Logistics Industry Apprentice Employer?

    While many apprenticeship candidates are able to find their own employer, others use our matching service that brings potential new recruits together with employers that have suitable vacancies.

    If you are fortunate enough to have a pre-existing connection to an employer that is seeking an apprentice, we can help to set up the apprenticeship to support both you and the employer.  If it not an employer that we have worked with before, we will need to carry out some basic quality checks, such as the employer’s workshop facilities, insurance and health and safety procedures.

    At TTS we really want to support those that show an ability and/or ambition to have a career in the automotive or transport industry.  While we cannot promise that we will be able to match you with an employer, we have a large network of contacts that we can put you in touch with.  We work with a range of vehicle manufacturers and local companies that employ apprentices that we can signpost you to and we can help you with CV writing and interview preparation to give you the best chance at securing a position. 

    All TTS apprentices are on the payroll of their apprentice employer for the duration of the apprenticeship.  Being employed from day one generally means there is greater investment from the employer to make the apprenticeship successful.


  • What Wage Can My Son/Daughter Expect to Earn as an Apprentice with TTS?

    The apprentice minimum wage, which is set by the government and which changes at least every April, depends on:

    • Your age
    • The year of apprenticeship you are in

    For those aged under 19 or those aged 19 or over who are in the first year of their apprenticeship, the minimum apprentice rate applies (April 2023 rate is £5.28 per hour).  If you are 19 or older, and have completed your first year of your apprenticeship, the National Minimum Wage applies for your age group.

    You can find out more about legal apprenticeship wages here and national minimum wages here.

    Whilst these are the minimum wages set by the government, TTS apprentices are employed by a local company in the motor/transport industry from day one and many of these employers choose to pay more than the minimum legal standard.  Certain types of apprenticeships also tend to command a higher rate. It is important to keep sight of the long-term goal when entering into an apprenticeship though. Transport and motor industry technical and driving professions are in high demand and offer excellent career prospects. Find out about career progression opportunities here.

  • Is My Son/Daughter the Right Age for an Apprenticeship?

    TTS apprenticeships are funded by the Department for the Economy.  In September 2023, the Department for the Economy launched ‘All Age Apprenticeships’ which lifted the age restriction to allow anyone to apply for an apprenticeship.

  • What are the Entry Requirements for an Apprenticeship?

    Employers will generally show preference for candidates with GCSE passes (grade C or above) including Maths, English and ICT.  This is because each role in the motor or transport industry will require these skills in everyday life. For example, a bus driver will inevitably need to take payments from customers (using Maths skills), someone working in a customer service role will need to be able to communicate articulately with customers via email (using English skills) and technicians work with English, Maths and ICT on a daily basis when, for example, reading and interpreting manufacturer technical data, calculating gear ratios and wheel alignment angles, or when carrying out vehicle diagnostics using computers.

    If you do not have the required GCSE qualifications, these subjects must be covered under “Essential Skills” classes which you would take alongside your other learning.  The advantage of taking Essential Skills via TTS alongside your chosen apprenticeship course is that we try to teach these classes putting the learning in the context of the job you are training to do.  This can help you to understand the importance of the subjects because there is more relevance to your chosen career path.

    Whilst it is important to have some qualifications to set you off on a good grounding, the biggest asset you can bring to an apprenticeship is enthusiasm.  Having an interest in your chosen career is a must.

    As part of the application process, each TTS apprenticeship applicant will be assessed using a range of diagnostic tests, including:

    • Literacy (English)
    • Numeracy (Maths)
    • Mechanical aptitude (your ability to understand and apply mechanical concepts and principles to solve problems); and
    • Cognitive reasoning (your ability to understand, process, remember and apply the information you will learn)

    If you are applying for a driving apprenticeship, you have a better chance of becoming an employed apprentice if you have a full and clean car driving licence.


  • What Qualifications will my Son/Daughter Gain with a TTS Apprenticeship?

    All TTS apprenticeships provide nationally recognised qualifications.  In technical or customer service roles the awarding body is the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) and for driving apprenticeships the qualification is awarded by Pearson.  All successfully completed TTS apprenticeships result in an Level 3 Apprenticeship (with Level 2 achieved along the way).

    Most of our apprenticeship qualifications are recognised around the world, meaning your son/daughter will not be restricted to working in the UK in the future.

    Where your son/daughter does not have Maths, English and ICT GCSE at grade C or above before commencing his/her apprenticeship, he/she will also be enrolled in “Essential Skills” classes and will achieve Communication Level 2, Numeracy Level 2 and ICT Level 1 by the end of his/her apprenticeship.

    Aside from the recognised qualifications that will be gained, your son/daughter will also gain a number of valuable practical skills throughout his/training.


  • How Often Does my Son/Daughter Attend TTS for Training?

    Unlike some other apprenticeship providers, your son/daughter will work for his/her employer and attend TTS classes all year round.  Most employer work experience is five days per week (Monday to Friday), with attendance at TTS in Nutts Corner being approximately one week every two months for training.  At TTS, we find this ‘block release’ model to be beneficial compared with other schemes that operate on a weekly day release for college training, because more can be covered in five consecutive days than in five individual days.  In our experience, employers also prefer the block release model because they find it easier to plan their workload. Feedback about block release from our Apprentices is also positive because they feel like they learn more in a dedicated week than they would on a day release scheme.

    Each apprentice attends our training centre for a unique blend of workshop practical tasks, classroom theory and e-learning.  At TTS you will receive a minimum of 50% workshop practical training. Hours of attendance at TTS are 9am to 4pm (Monday-Thursday) and 9am to 3pm (Friday).


  • How Long Does an Apprenticeship Take to Complete in Northern Ireland?

    To complete both Level 2 and Level 3 apprenticeships with TTS it will take three years to qualify.

    Please note, TTS does not offer Level 2 on its own. At TTS we do not consider our apprentices fully qualified until they have completed Level 3, since this is the expectation of any employer.

  • What Career Progression Opportunities are There for Motor/Transport Industry Professionals?

    There are no certainties in life and so much is down to the skill and commitment of us all as individuals. However, there are currently significant skill shortages within technical and driving roles in the motor and transport industries, both in Northern Ireland and further afield.  Currently there are not enough qualified technicians and professional drivers to meet the demand, which is good news for qualified people because it means there is a high likelihood of job security. 

    In terms of career progression there are many opportunities for qualified and experienced transport and motor industry professionals.  Some advancement opportunities are as follows:


    Career Progression Possibilities for Apprentice Technicians:


    Technician or mechanic career progression options flow chart

    • Workshop foreman / supervisor / team leader 
    • Workshop / operations / general manager
    • Workshop planner / workshop controller
    • Service manager
    • Vehicle tester or quality controller
    • Technical trainer
    • Vehicle insurance claims assessor / estimator 
    • Specialist technician, e.g. diagnostician 
    • Vehicle sales – it is not uncommon for former technicians to move into sales roles because they have such a good technical understanding
    • You could also aspire to open your own repair/maintenance workshop some day

    Career Progression Possibilities for Apprentice Drivers:


    Truck driver career progression options flow chart.                Bus or coach driver career progression options flow chart

    • Specialist vehicle driver, e.g. driving vehicles that transport hazardous/dangerous goods or high value goods
    • Supervisor / team leader / manager
    • Transport planner
    • Transport manager
    • Driver trainer
    • You could also aspire to start your own transport business some day

    Also, because most TTS apprenticeships provide qualifications that are recognised all over the world, you could have the opportunity to live and work abroad after you qualify.

    Any career which demands a high level of training and competence will be rewarded with a professional salary to reflect the hard work and effort undertaken to become qualified, and of course the salary earned will be determined by experience and expertise.

    Qualified salary expectations vary depending on the role, but all TTS apprenticeships open doors to careers that typically provide earnings between £20-30,000, with more specialist roles commanding much more than this.  Heavy vehicle technicians typically earn more than light vehicle technicians, for example, and long-distance drivers typically earn more than drivers on local routes, so there are significant variances even within professions.

    The best way to ascertain the salary that you could achieve once you are fully qualified is to search job listings to see what salaries companies in your local area are offering.


  • Can My Daughter Apply for an Apprenticeship in the Motor, Transport or Logistics Industry?

    Of course!  Whilst the automotive and transport/logistics industries have traditionally offered employment opportunities for predominantly male roles, both are currently working hard to attract more female talent.

    TTS is keen to encourage apprenticeship recruitment from all sectors of the population and is very active in encouraging more women and people of all ethnicities and minority groups to consider a career in the retail motor and transport industries.  

    If you are in doubt, please speak to our Careers Development Office, Robert Deignan, who can talk you through your daughter’s suitability for one of our apprenticeships.


  • When Should My Son/Daughter Start Looking for an Apprenticeship?

    TTS normally starts new apprentices in September, mainly because this fits into the typical school-leaver schedule.  The best time to look for an apprenticeship, therefore, is between January and June prior to the September that your son/daughter wishes to commence.   Some employers start recruiting as early as Spring so the earlier your son/daughter applies the more opportunities he/she will be able to be considered for.

    Having said that, we often have demand from employers throughout the year for new apprentices, which we can accommodate because our apprenticeships are modular.  This means your son/daughter could start the apprenticeship later in the term and simply complete the modules in a different order, if we have sufficient numbers for a full class of late starters or spaces to fill on existing classes.


  • How Much Does it Cost to Train as an Apprentice in Northern Ireland?

    Unlike most university courses, there is no cost associated with training during an apprenticeship!  On the contrary, apprentices earn a decent wage from day one. Read more about apprenticeship wages here.

    Some apprentices may, however, be required to invest in some tools.

  • Does My Son/Daughter Need to Purchase Any Tools or Equipment for His/Her Apprenticeship?

    For some apprenticeships, the apprentice may be required to have his/her own tools, but we wouldn’t recommend making any significant purchases without seeking advice first of all.  Our TTS Careers Development Officer can liaise with your son/daughter and his/her employer to find out what equipment will be needed.

    Some employers offer tool allowances or loans to help get apprentices started.

  • What Support Will My Son/Daughter Receive Throughout His/Her Apprenticeship?

    TTS is consistently praised for its support of young people. We have a dedicated Careers Development Officer to provide ongoing pastoral care to ensure your son/daughter is developing well and integrating successfully into his/her workplace, and to provide regular feedback on progress.

    Our Careers Development Officer is also the link between our apprentices and their respective employers and is there to make sure any issues, on either side, are resolved quickly.

    Proof of the quality of support available is the large number of employers who themselves came through an apprenticeship with TTS and want a similar, quality experience for the staff they employ.

    You can find out more about our pastoral care by downloading our Apprentice Pastoral Care Handbook here: Download PDF.


  • What Support is Available to Me as a Parent During My Son/Daughter’s Apprenticeship?

    TTS values and believes in the need for parent partnership working. TTS understands and appreciates your need to be involved in your son/daughter’s apprenticeship and to be informed at all stages of their progress and development. As the training provider of your son/daughter’s apprenticeship we will endeavour at all times to keep you informed on all matters relating to his/her apprenticeship. Your involvement is essential, and at times vital when issues arise that may jeopardise or impact upon the successful completion of the apprenticeship. 

    We acknowledge your concerns and ambitions for your son/daughter to do well and as such we have effective procedures in place that communicates their progress to you. TTS welcomes any involvement of parents and is always on hand to answer any of your queries or concerns. You may contact our Careers Development Officer, in confidence, at any time.  Click here to meet the team.

    You can find out more about our pastoral care by downloading our Apprentice Pastoral Care Handbook and our Parents Pastoral Care Handbook here: Download PDF.


  • What Apprentice Employers Do You Work With?

    TTS has well-established business partnerships with the main employers in the transport and motor sectors in Northern Ireland.  Current partners on the ApprenticeshipsNI programme include a variety of franchise brands including:

    We also train apprentices for local franchise dealerships and independent employers and family businesses throughout Northern Ireland, such as:

    This is not an exhaustive list and as you can see covers the entire geography of Northern Ireland.  We endeavour, as far as possible, to match apprentices to vacancies in their locality.

  • What is the TTS Apprentice Success Rate?

    In an apprenticeship there is no pass or fail.  The measure of success is satisfactory completion of the apprenticeship.  97% of TTS apprenticeship starters successfully complete the three-year course.

  • How Does My Son/Daughter Apply for a TTS Apprenticeship?

    The first step is to complete an online application, which can be found here: application form.  When we receive and process the application, your son/daughter will be invited to TTS to participate in a range of aptitude tests.  Please note, any candidate under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. 

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If you are a company in Northern Ireland considering employing apprentices for the transport or motor sectors we would love to hear from you! Please complete this form and we will contact you to discuss your requirements.

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