Knowles Transport's driver apprentice Paris Wakelen on right track to achieve ambition as HGV driver

Logistics specialist Knowles Transport has launched a driver apprenticeship scheme in a bid to future-proof the business and help bring through the next generation of drivers.

The programme, which lasts 13 months, aims to attract the next generation of young drivers into the industry and provide a steady stream of talent to the company.

Knowles is recruiting six apprentices into the scheme, which lasts 13 months and is run in partnership with GTG Training. They will train for their Class I HGV licence.

The first two apprentices are former truck lift driver Marc Gilder, aged 30 and Paris Wakelen (pictured), 24, who is following in the footsteps of family members who are truck drivers.

Knowles aims to take on six apprentices a year. Candidates can apply from the age of 18 and will start of their 1- month apprenticeship with a ten-day training programme. Each apprentice will also have a designated development coach from GTG Training.

Once they have passed their test the apprentices will be partnered with an experienced mentor to ease their transition into driving on their own.

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MD Alex Knowles said: “Launching our new apprenticeship scheme in partnership with GTG Training is a significant milestone for Knowles Transport and acts as yet another example of the level of growth that the company has undergone in recent years.

“Not only will it future proof the business from a driver recruitment perspective, but it will also help mitigate from any fallout from further potential driver shortages. The national driver shortage is something that we have proactively looked at bridging in recent years and our apprenticeship programme offers the business a sustainable and practical solution for the years to come."

He added: “We will be provisionally looking to recruit six new apprentices per year into the programme, where they will be undergo a rigorous and thorough training regime that will be geared towards transforming our apprentices into safe and experienced drivers.

“At Knowles we believe in investing in our staff and providing them with the skills and experience they need to succeed in their respective roles and this same ethos will be instilled in our new apprenticeship programme.

“We recruited GTG Training as we wanted to offer a totally seamless and interactive learning experience for our new apprentices.

"Their expertise in delivering innovative and high-quality apprenticeship programmes, namely in the transport and logistics sector, made it an easy decision.”