Drivers are inducted at Eddie Stobart's training academy

Eddie Stobart has opened its previously in-house training academy up to the whole transport industry.

The operator opened its training facility at its Appleton HQ in 2015, where it's been training its own employees in HGV driving, transport legislation, warehouse and operational training and management development.

As of today (14 September) external operators are able to pay for their staff to be trained at the academy.

eddie stobart driving school

Eddie Stobart said it had decided to open the facility up to the wider industry because of increasing demand from customers to do so, as well as safeguarding the future of the industry.

Stobart covers the cost of training for its own employees, and offers a 25% discount to their friends and family members.

The operator's CEO Alex Laffey said: “Safeguarding the flexibility and agility of our industry is a responsibility we take very seriously.

"The supply chain is critical to the success of UK PLC and the skill sets required now for success are expanding as we adapt to key trends such as the rapid growth of e-commerce and customer demands for increasingly shorter lead times."

The operator told MT it has increased its training staff by 25% in the last six months in anticipation of growing student volumes. It will monitor its training resources against demand going forwards, and has identified employees it can develop to driver trainers if necessary.

The training is accredited by organisations including TfL, the Scottish Qualifications Authority and the Association of Lorry Loader Manufacturers & Importers.

Stobart's results for the six months to 31 May 2017 saw its turnover and earnings increase. However the cost of refinancing, its stock market listing and the end of a contract resulted in a pre-tax loss for the period.