Caroline Moody

Caroline Moody with her 2020 Amazon Everywoman in Transport & Logistics freight leader award

Throughout this Covid-19 pandemic the logistics sector has demonstrated the valuable role it plays in enabling this country to function. But is has failed to address the long-term shortage of LGV drivers, estimated at around 50,000, which will have a serious impact on our economy.

National Lorry Week (November 16 to 22) was all about celebrating and championing the sector as innovative, inclusive, and sustainable and highlighting the many career opportunities and pathways it provides.

I would urge other logistics firms to promote apprenticeships as an effective method of addressing the driver shortage.

My own company, Moody Logistics and Storage, is an example of what can be achieved by attracting and supporting a new generation into the cab.

Only a few years ago, none of my drivers were under the age of 30 – now, out of 24, four are in their 20s, all former or current driver apprentices.

The fact of the matter is that the average HGV driver in the UK is in their early 50s and as they retire or leave the industry they are not being replaced in sufficient numbers, with 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.

Three people have already gained their LGV licences after going through the driver programme operated by Tyneside Training Services. The fourth, selected from 150 applicants, began his ‘Warehouse to Wheels’ apprenticeship in February - whereby he helps out the warehouse team, gaining 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 the workforce or from the over 25 age group.

Driver apprenticeships have made a positive contribution to our business and its a great way to attract, develop and retain new talent while improving operational standards.

Caroline Moody, MD, Moody Logistics and Storage