Caroline Moody, the managing director of Moody Logistics and Storage, is urging the transport industry to deliver even greater numbers of driver apprenticeships.
Speaking during the Road Haulage Association’s National Lorry Week (16-22 November), she urged other haulage firms to promote apprenticeships as an effective method of addressing the serious nationwide shortage of qualified LGV drivers.
She held up her own company as an example of what can be achieved by attracting and supporting a new generation to consider a career in the cab.
Caroline, recently named winner of the Freight Leader category in the 2020 Amazon everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards, said that of its 24 drivers, Moody Logistics now has four under the age of 30 – all of whom have either been through or are in the process of completing a driver apprenticeship.
“The fact of the matter is that the average trucker in the UK is in their early 50s and as they retire or leave the industry they are not being replaced in sufficient numbers as too few young people are even considering it as a career.
“Creating more driver apprentices is a practical and cost-effective way that the transport industry can encourage more people behind the wheel of a truck.
“National Lorry Week is all about celebrating and championing the sector as innovative, inclusive and sustainable – an industry that offers many opportunities and career pathways. However, the failure to tackle the shortage of LGV drivers, estimated at around 50,000, will have a serious impact on the UK’s economy and the ability to keep this country fed and supplied.
“The huge effort made by the logistics sector to keep this country running during the current pandemic highlights the vital role it plays.”
The family run firm based in Cramlington, Northumberland, has already successfully put three apprentices through the driver programme operated by Tyneside Training Services (TTS). The fourth, selected from 150 applicants, began his ‘Warehouse to Wheels’ apprenticeship in February – helping out the warehouse team to gain a greater insight into the wider logistics business while working towards achieving full driver qualifications.
The average apprenticeship lasts 15 months with some companies choosing to recruit from within other areas of its workforce or from the over 25 age group.
Caroline added: “Driver apprenticeships have definitely made a positive contribution to our business. It’s a great way to attract, develop and retain new talent while improving operational standards.”