GDL Apprentices at Cullompton (2)

Gregory Distribution has taken on four apprentice drivers at its Cullompton depot as part of a drive to attract younger people into the industry.

Sean Pearson, Mitchell Brooks, Callum Clinton and Jack Miles, all aged 19, are undertaking driver training at a local training facility as part of their apprenticeship, while learning other skills associated with the job in-house at the depot on Cullompton.

The four drivers went through an intensive interviewing process, and were selected from a pool of around 50 applicants. The firm said it hopes to hire more young people going forward, adding that it thinks attracting young drivers into the industry is key to solving the driver shortage.

Gregory’s business unit director Darren Beaven said: “LGV driver training today goes far beyond teaching someone to drive a vehicle from A to B. It has a high degree of responsibility and challenge and will require an in-depth knowledge of transport and health & safety regulations, hazard awareness and risk assessment, vehicle maintenance, loading and unloading procedures and the ability to maximize the performance of the vehicle using very sophisticated in-cab technology.

“We need to demonstrate that driving today can be a very rewarding career in order to make it attractive to young people. Our approach seems to be working. These young lads have already shown aptitude to go along with their enthusiasm and we are delighted to have them on board.”

The company said it is offering apprenticeships in areas of the business other than driving too. Paul Turner, head of HR at Gregory, said: “As the business continues to grow we are undertaking a rigorous recruitment campaign across all areas of activity and we are especially targeting young people.

“We are offering apprenticeships in heavy vehicle mechanic, driving, warehouse and business & administration and can promise satisfying and rewarding career opportunities.”