Gregory Distribution has launched a recruitment drive for HGV drivers in the south west, particularly young and inexperienced applicants.

It wants to recruit around 100 drivers in the next 12 months and will be holding a series of open days at its depots.

Head of HR Paul Turner told that the company wants to attract young blood into the business to help alleviate the problems associated with an ageing driver workforce. New contracts have also created the need to increase the number of depots in its network, he added.

Chief executive John Gregory said: “We have grown by 30% over the last three years. We have now identified further areas of the business that require new recruits, including drivers and support staff.

“Our aim is to convince younger people that driving is more than just another job.  It is highly professional and responsible with a great deal of personal discretion and it requires a high level of training over and above driving skills.  It also provides career opportunities - many members of our management teams have risen to their current positions having started as drivers.”

The firm will be holding a series of open days for drivers this autumn, the first two being at its Avonmouth depot on 13 September and at its Willand, Devon site on 27 September. More dates in October are to be confirmed.

Turner said the open days follow a similar event at its Cullompton depot earlier this year, which saw around 100 potential drivers turn up for 11 driving positions.

“Drivers tend to buy-in to the business if they have an opportunity to see what the depot is like beforehand,” he said. “We want to to attract people into the business and then keep them in.”

Drivers will be trained by its 10 in-house driver trainers at its Cullompton site. Training will be provided at all levels, including putting learner drivers through their HGV licence acquisition test, as well as driver CPC training for more experienced drivers.

The new recruits will have the opportunity to experience driving vehicles ranging from 7.5 tonners  to articulated units with milk tankers.

Potential applicants can call 01837 883385 and ask for HR, or visit the Gregory website.

Gregory Distribution recently acquired the fresh produce delivery operation from MMD (Shipping Services).