Europa Steers The Next Generation of Drivers
National Apprenticeship Week
With National Apprenticeship Week (4- 8 March 2019) around the corner, ambitious and innovative logistics operator, Europa Worldwide Group, is celebrating the success of its Warehouse to Wheels initiative. It is an apprenticeship scheme for employees to become qualified drivers of large goods vehicles.
Supported by Seetec
Launched last year, the initiative, which is supported by training provider Seetec, aims to tackle the well-publicised driver shortage within the industry.
Malcolm Castle, General Manager Domestic Transport at Europa Worldwide Group, says: “The driver shortage is a situation that needs to be addressed immediately. It is important from Europa’s perspective that we offer opportunities to all staff to be able to grow with us. It shows that we are committed to developing and investing in our team.”
Shortfall of drivers
There is a shortfall of at least 60,000 large goods vehicle drivers in the UK. Combined with the potential loss of European drivers post-Brexit, it is predicted there could be a shortage of 150,000drivers. This poses a significant threat to the UK economy.
Warehouse to Wheels
Designed for new and existing staff, the Warehouse to Wheels initiative includes a year-long apprenticeshipto become a qualified Class 2 LGV driver. It has been designed by the LGV driving industry and delivered by national training provider Seetec. The scheme plans to attract young drivers and support them to gain their LGV licence along with the necessary practical, technical and legal knowledge to succeed in the industry.
One of the Europa apprentices, Aron Golding, 28, comments: “I previously had no experience in driving LGV Trucks. This a great new challenge and the role gives me the feeling that I am in charge of my own work load. It’s definitely something different from what I was used to doing. It provides the opportunity for a new long-term career. I am thankful to the company for the opportunity to further my own career here at Europa.”
Carl Potter, HR and Facilities Director at Europa, comments: “Driving is at the heart of what we do. With the well-known industry driver shortage from an ‘ageing population’ and less young people entering the sector, we wanted to help create opportunities for new drivers. We believe the Europa apprenticeship scheme will help staff get involved in what is an interesting, exciting and crucial occupation. We plan to train them along a defined path to become fully qualified HGV drivers.”
Lauren Webb, Seetec’s Head of Employer Solutions & Strategic Partnerships, explains: “Seetec offers flexible training schedules and works closely with employers like Europa. It assists with recruitment, taking care of licence applications, driver medicals, all theory and initial CPC training and tests. Alongside this, it also offers practical driver training for the apprentices to gain their Cat C Licence. This is a great way to address the driver shortage.”
Mark Taylor, Head of Learning and Development at the RHA, comments: “Drivers have a whole suite of responsibilities around working time directives, security of load, weight limits maintenance and checking the vehicle. This goes way beyond being qualified to drive the vehicle. That’s why the apprenticeships are a great way to address the skills shortage, because they deliver people into the industry who are capable of doing the job.”