Trucker training puts recruits in the driving seat

Haulage giant Eddie Stobart has set up its own apprenticeship programme
Haulage giant Eddie Stobart has set up its own apprenticeship programme
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In these uncertain times, it is impossible to guarantee a job to everyone who enters training, but some industries know that they are going to need a lot of recruits in the near future.

It is also the case that taking an apprenticeship gives you a better chance of securing a job at the end of the course, usually, but not always, with the employer to whom you have been apprenticed.

That’s why an apprenticeship in the logistics industry should be considered. Logistics is the fancy word for moving and supplying things, and the biggest number of logistics workers are the men and women who daily drive large (LGV) and heavy (HGV) goods vehicles.

There are also warehouse staff, customer service operatives, transport managers, supply planners and many more, but it’s in the HGV and LGV sectors that there will be the greatest demand for new workers. Industry experts estimate that more than 500,000 new logistics workers will be required across the UK in the next six years, and with 44 per cent of the current workforce over the age of 45, that demand will remain high.

When you consider the high cost of attaining an HGV licence and the unwillingness of road-haulage companies to employ young people, due to inexperience and the insurance premiums firms have to pay for them, it becomes clear just how crucial a role apprenticeships can play.

During the apprenticeship, young people gain a variety of skills and experience across all areas of the logistics industry. They can acquire an HGV licence, usually costing thousands of pounds, and specific qualifications under the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

Course topics vary, but there are workshops that include health and safety, employment law, and numeracy and literacy if required. The most crucial learning, however, takes place with on-the-job experience which allows apprentices to learn about warehousing, traffic planning and purchasing in addition to the actual driving of goods vehicles.

The best-known haulage firm in Britain, Eddie Stobart, has set up its own bespoke apprenticeship programme in partnership with one of the UK’s most respected training providers, System Training, whose instructors teach at Eddie Stobart’s Training Academy in Widnes, Cheshire, where the apprentices attain their HGV licences.

Upon completion of training, the apprentices are mentored by experienced drivers and learn important vocational skills making deliveries before hitting the roads in their very own Eddie Stobart truck.

Chris Bowden, system training sales and marketing director said: “Logistics apprenticeships are crucial to help an ageing industry bring in new blood and move foward. System training apprenticeship ensures young people are fully trained and receive the specific skills employers are searching for. Working in the fast-paced logistics industry can be full of risks, so apprenticeships are critical to ensure high standards of training and safety among young people looking to get involved.”

With industry leaders such as Eddie Stobart investing in apprenticeships, others will follow.