Clipper believes that training and development not only benefit its people, but also Clipper as a business. Clipper’s drivers are put through an innovative driver CPC programme, which uses state-of-the-art driver simulation cabs, but it said there was a clear opportunity for further learning and development.

The launch of Clipper’s Driving Futures training programme has had a life-changing impact on the apprentices; all six who joined the first cohort remained on board for the duration and are now fully embedded in the business.

Clipper partnered with SP Training to develop the programme, which includes the foundation of knowledge required to achieve the Cat C LGV licence in the first three months of the scheme. This allows the apprentices to embed and develop their skills over the course of the remaining 12 months, in preparation for the End Point Assessment.

The training is flexible and comprehensive and includes customer service, safe and fuel-efficient driving, care of vulnerable road users, team working, self-development, maths and English skills, as well as legislation and compliance. In addition to this, all team members on the apprenticeship programme receive training on content relevant to the specific contracts they will be working on for the duration.

The judges said: “A big plus point was the on-the-job shadowing it does with experienced drivers; and it puts them on a 10-year driver CPC certificate, which is really good to see.”

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DAF Trucks has been the market-leading commercial vehicle manufacturer in the UK for 26 years and trained more than 2,000 apprentices. It has introduced 63 apprentices to this year’s intake and retained more than 95% of those on the programme. All necessary measures have been taken for their continued support, development and progression.

Throughout the lockdown, DAF hosted weekly meetings with Skillnet and the DAF Apprentice College to keep the programme on track and ensure it was providing support to apprentices and dealerships. Every apprentice was regularly contacted remotely by a Skills Coach for wellbeing support. Teaching methods were adapted and DAF provided additional resources. E-learning materials and online delivery platforms have been enhanced, allowing apprentices to progress regardless of furlough status. Regional training was also introduced to ensure third-year learners were able to complete their apprenticeship.

The judges said: “The way DAF celebrates its apprenticeships is great; the maturity of the programme is empowering.”



DPD looks to hire and retain the best people in the delivery industry and offers a comprehensive and diverse range of apprenticeships throughout its UK-wide network. This year’s entry had a particular focus on the difference the company is making to young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) through Inspire – its inclusivity programme for people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Individuals follow a clear progression through work experience, supported internships and inclusive apprenticeships before achieving a substantive post. The apprenticeship process remains the same but with reasonable adjustments made to suit an individual’s needs and abilities. There is involvement at every level of the apprenticeship recruitment process from the senior management team, with chief operating officer Justin Pegg conducting final interviews and three-month reviews.

They also advise on which department they feel would provide the best platform for a successful career, with all areas of the business offering vacancies, including customer services, engineering, finance, IT, marketing and sales. The process of hand-selecting apprentices for a department regularly pays dividends, too, with former apprentice telesales executive Brett Watson (now area sales executive) bringing in more than £1.2m-worth of new business in 2020.

DPD has invested £250,000 in the SEND programme since 2018, resulting in amazing feedback, it said, from apprentices and their families who feel DPD has provided them with a career that many felt was not possible before their apprenticeship.

The judges said: “DPD edged it with the Inspire programme, which put more than 100 people into posts across the business; they showed some great examples of how it’s worked for them.”