Knowles Transport launches driver apprenticeship scheme

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Logistics specialists Knowles Transport has launched an apprenticeship scheme for prospective new drivers in a bid to future proof the business and help bring through the next generation of drivers onto UK roads.

Knowles will be recruiting a total of six apprentices into the scheme, who will be training for their Class I HGV licence. The LGV Category C+E licence will allow the apprentices to drive Knowles rigid and articulated vehicles and up to a combined weight of 44 tonnes.

The first two apprentices to join the programme are Marc Gilder (30) and Paris Wakelen (24).

Former forklift driver Marc seized the opportunity as a move towards a new career whilst Paris who had previously worked for a Classic Car insurance provider, thought it would be good route to get into the industry following in the footsteps of family members and achieving her ambition of becoming an HGV driver.

Knowles Transport will be partnering with GTG Training, who have been delivering training courses and apprenticeships in the transport sector for over 30 years, where they will assist Knowles in introducing a bespoke and high-quality apprenticeship programme.

Being one of only 20 providers they are the only company which provides training in the North and South of the border.

The programme, which lasts 13 months, will aim to attract the next generation of young drivers into the industry and in turn, provide a steady stream of talent drivers to Knowles Transport.

Apprentices are able to apply from the age of 18 and will initially go to GTG Training prior to the start of their apprenticeship for a ten-day training programme. The learners will be inducted on site at Knowles , They will then learn from the experienced staff there and logging their progression on our E-portfolio system and also working towards their theory test , They then come to GTG for either 2 5 day courses for C and C+E licences usually month 4 and then month 5/6. Or they can now come for a 10 day course and get both licences with one test. This would be done month 4 or 5 and this would be the only time on the 13 months that they would come to GTG.

Apprentices taking part in the scheme will spend the first few months of their apprenticeship being taught basic driver theory as well as rotating between departments to ensure that they to understand all elements of the business. After five months of training their progress will be independently reviewed by a DVSA examiner.

From the commencement of their training, each apprentice will be stationed with their own designated development coach from GTG Training, receive an off-the-job training plan and will also be given a personal log.

To ensure all apprentices are thoroughly prepared once they have passed their test, they will also undergo best-practice training to further their awareness and safety experience whilst out on the road.

Upon passing their test all apprentices will be partnered with an experienced mentor so they are eased into the transition of driving on their own.

Alex Knowles, Managing Director of Knowles Transport commented: “Launching our new apprenticeship scheme in partnership with GTG Training is a significant milestone for Knowles Transport and acts as yet another example of the level of growth that the company has undergone in recent years.

“Not only will it future proof the business from a driver recruitment perspective, but it will also help mitigate from any fallout from further potential driver shortages. The national driver shortage is something that we have proactively looked at bridging in recent years and our apprenticeship programme offers the business a sustainable and practical solution for the years to come.

“We will be provisionally looking to recruit six new apprentices per year into the programme, where they will be undergo a rigorous and thorough training regime that will be geared towards transforming our apprentices into safe and experienced drivers.

“At Knowles we believe in investing in our staff and providing them with the skills and experience they need to succeed in their respective roles and this same ethos will be instilled in our new apprenticeship programme.

“We recruited GTG Training as we wanted to offer a totally seamless and interactive learning experience for our new apprentices. Their expertise in delivering innovative and high-quality apprenticeship programmes, namely in the transport and logistics sector, made it an easy decision.”

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