Hermes UK has launched an apprenticeship scheme designed to help address the national LGV driver shortage, while developing its own personnel.
According to Hermes, 45 employees have signed up to the 12-month scheme which will see them gain a Cat C license and become a qualified LGV driver.
Under the Hermes scheme, every employee will be given one day off a week to support their studies. The practical driving training will take place at Hermes’s Driving Academy in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, alongside additional instruction covering a range of areas such as preparing the vehicle, loading and unloading, keeping safe, the law, communication skills, problem solving and team working.
Once qualified, each participant will be offered the opportunity to have an interview for an LGV driver position within the company.
John Walker, transport manager (Maidstone) at Hermes UK, said, “The latest survey from the RHA estimates there is now a shortage of more than 100,000 drivers in the UK. Our LGV apprenticeship program is designed to help alleviate this industry-wide challenge by allowing any one of our non-driving-based employees to gain their Class 2 LGV license.
“It won’t cost them a penny and they will be given paid time off during their current job for the practical and theory studying elements. The program gives them the extra time and training to become safe and competent drivers rather than just passing a driving test.”
Bianca Sofrone, an apprentice on the scheme, said, “Back in March I noticed a few posters advertising the scheme. I had always thought I would like to be a LGV driver, in fact it was my dream job, but it was something I could not afford to do at this stage in my life. I spoke to our transport manager who explained that it would be a great skill to have and coming from being a sorter would mean I knew how the operations worked. Following that conversation, I applied for the LGV apprenticeship program and was accepted.”