RAIL operator Northern – which runs services on the Airedale line – has become the industry's main provider of apprenticeships in the country.

The company currently has over 250 apprentice train drivers and conductors on its payroll.

And with official 'main provider' recognition from Ofsted, Northern will also now be able to offer training to other operators' new recruits in the fields of train driving and passenger transport.

Apprentices undergo classroom learning, including through use of virtual reality technology, at Northern’s training academy.

Helen Wright, apprenticeship and governance manager with the company, said: "It’s great to see so many people completing apprenticeships with Northern – and gaining nationally-recognised qualifications to show their professionalism in the industry.

"We have plans to invest even more in our apprenticeship scheme and work with communities to make them aware of the roles in the sector."

For further information about apprenticeships with Northern, visit northernrailway.co.uk/careers/early-careers/apprenticeships.