Trevor Edden MD, TWE Haulage

At TWE Haulage we face the same driver recruitment and retention issues as everyone else. I’m a big believer in training and developing young talent and yet I’ve been frustrated for years with the sector’s apprenticeship offerings. So I decided to go back to the way we used to train – not just for a role but for an all-round employee. I decided to find a young, enthusiastic individual who was interested in the logistics sector. After months of searching and becoming disappointed in how it seems the majority of youngsters want a quick route to an HGV licence, I discovered 22-year-old Dale McMillan. Dale reinfused my appetite to train somebody the old-fashioned way in road haulage.

I’ve long been concerned that too many people enter the industry as a way of making quick money, rather than truly understanding the industry and their role. The difference is that one gives them some limited short-term benefit and the other gives us all long-term benefit. It gives their employer a long-term return on the time and expense of training them.

Dale and I discussed my vision for his training, which would put him through all aspects of handling freight from collection to delivery. Between us, we agreed on a training programme that would see Dale obtain his C+E licence. But we weren’t just training him to drive a lorry. We were training him to be a lorry driver – which I think is a much bigger role than simply moving the vehicle.

Dale’s journey with TWE began in July 2016. He started work as a warehouse operative, scanning freight and ensuring the warehouse was fit for use. After six months of unblemished good work, we escalated Dale to the role of a collection and delivery van driver, as well as forklift driver on a split shift.

Skip forward to March 2019. TWE has funded Dale’s category C licence and provided him with his first 18-tonne rigid collection and delivery vehicle. In March 2021, he’ll start his training for his C+E licence and when he passes this, he’ll get his choice of role within the fleet.

We may have a driver shortage in the industry but that doesn’t mean we should rush, look for quick fixes, or employ those who want quick money. Sometimes the best way is the old-school way.

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