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Stagecoach South West marks International Women in Engineering Day by celebrating the success of local Engineering Manager Danieka Stanley          

  • Danieka talks about a decade spent working in the industry  
  • Opportunities offered for progression, and to earn while you learn.  
  • Increase in female engineering apprentices joining the business 

Danieka Stanley joined Stagecoach South West in May 2021, relocating to Exeter from Stagecoach London, where she’d spent a decade of her career. Danieka took on the role of Assistant Engineering Manager for the largest depot in the South West, based at Exeter’s Matford depot. Alongside the management team, Danieka was responsible for leading 25 engineer’s and 24 cleaners, who maintain a fleet of 130 buses to provide a reliable and safe service for the residents of Exeter and surrounding towns and villages. The depot’s fleet, based predominantly at Matford and also across 5 outstations, operate routes into Exmouth, Tiverton and Crediton and as far as Barnstaple and Bude to name a few. 

Danieka tells us about her journey to her current role; She gained her IMIAL Level 3 Diploma in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair at Greenwich Community College in 2010. Giving her the basis to begin her career with Stagecoach in February 2011 as an Oiler/Greaser. She quickly developed her mechanical and electrical abilities and within 3 months gained a mechanical/electrical engineering role of Fitter at Stagecoach Plumstead Bus Garage, in the South East of London, responsible for a fleet of 180 vehicles. Danieka worked hard to continue her progression, gaining a promotion to the next level of Master Technician, a post she held for a number of years before joining the South West.  

Danieka developed her skillset during the decade she spent at Plumstead, learning on the job and attending a number of in house and external courses. She perfected her experience working across Euro 3 and up to Euro 6 engines, including hybrid models.  This has been good preparation for understand the South West’s fleet, which is made up of a variety of vehicle types and ages, from ADL Enviro 200 MMC launched in Exeter in 2018, and the 22 Route 12 Scania/E400 MMCs launched in 2017 through to Double Deck Tridents and Alexander Dennis Darts. 

Danieka also had the opportunity to work across all aspects of engineering disciplines, from days shifts, where she could hone her servicing skills, to the running shift, where she gained important experience in managing breakdowns. She also had the opportunity to run the MOT department for Plumstead, managing the process of prepping buses, and seeing vehicles through the MOT test process with the DVSA.  She comments that this variety of experience has greatly helped her to smoothly manage her team in her role today.  

Since joining the team in the South West Danieka’s role shifted away from rolling her sleeves up to get stuck into hands on vehicle maintenance and more towards the management of staff, procedures and KPIs. Whilst Danieka admits she does miss the practical element of life in the garage, she has quickly found a passion for assisting in the development of apprentices and fellow engineers, particular enjoying helping her team to advance their skill level and confidence. Danieka was also nominated for the Stagecoach Shine Pool, late last year. The programme is designed to coach and mentor emerging talent to aid development within the company, and is just one of the schemes Stagecoach has in place for progressing it’s people.  Danieka is one of a handful of colleagues selected each year to take part in the prestigious scheme.   

In February 2022, Danieka was appointed as Engineering Manager for Torbay. The move saw her take over responsibility for a team of 25 Engineering colleagues, including 11 engineers, 14 cleaners and shunters who maintain a fleet of over 92 buses based at the Torquay depot and outstations in Newton Abbot and Paignton. The depot operates a number of the company’s hugely popular routes, including the business’ flagship route 12 connecting the bay every 10 minutes. Danieka commented on her first months as manager for Torbay; ‘We’ve be hitting the ground running to get our fleet ready for the summer season. With additional buses being added into operation, including our open top service 122 which is a firm favourite amongst tourists and local day trippers alike’  She also says she’s excited about the opportunities ahead ‘It’s been great to take on a new challenge, but also get to know Torbay and learn about the local network. It’s been good to get stuck in straight away, but also look at the potential for improvement in the future.’ The company recently rolled out talking buses to their 12 and 22 routes run by the Torbay depot. As more people are welcomed back to bus and visitors to the region, they’re keen to continue developing ways to make bus travel an attractive option for travellers in the South West.  

A key aspect that Danieka enjoys about her new role is the daily analysis of the garage’s variety of data feeds to map trends, diagnose common issues and design and implement procedures to prevent future problems. Danieka comments ‘It’s great to have the technology to enable us to build in preventative maintenance processes, this is key to improving the health of our vehicles and providing a reliable, smooth service for customers.’ 

Danieka said ‘I’m very proud to be the first female engineering manager in the South West. Stagecoach has done great work in encouraging more female employees into our business. It’s great to challenge the idea that the Engineering industry is male dominated, and to set an example to girls across the country who may be considering this fantastic job for their future career.’  

The company has seen an increase in the number of female engineering apprentices to join the business this year. Stagecoach was also the first public transport organisation to offer an engineering apprenticeship scheme and it also offers a ‘trade-up’ scheme, giving existing employees the opportunity to undertake and apprenticeship with the engineering team. 

Speaking about Danieka’s career with Stagecoach,  Stagecoach South West Engineering Director, Tony Vincent said: “Danieka has a wealth of experience in delivering engineering excellence, with a strong focus on innovation and staff engagement. She’s also a great example to her colleagues and also other women considering a career in the industry; with hard work and a positive attitude there are a wealth of development opportunities available within Stagecoach.” 

In 2020 Stagecoach Group marked 40 years of keeping Britain connected, the company and its services underpin more than £1.6bn in economic value to the country’s economy each year, as well as supporting 10,000 jobs in the supply chain and around 1 in 1,000 jobs across the UK. 

Stagecoach South West provides local bus services across the whole of Devon and Torbay, and into Plymouth, Cornwall and Somerset. Over the financial year from May 2021 to April 2022 a total of 22.4 million passengers were carried and buses operated a total of 16.7 million miles. The company employs a total of 1066 staff located at 4 depots and 11 outstations. 

Stagecoach –  https://www.stagecoachbus.com/plan-a-journey

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