MTA 2021 Training winner

Tim Pearson, national SHEQ manager (second left) and David Cooper, national compliance and training manager at Wren Kitchens, collect the award from Adam Leonard, CEO of Palletforce, (second right) with host Alexander Armstrong (far left)

Kitchen retailer Wren’s transport and logistics team exceeds 770 and its recruitment policy is about identifying individuals with the right attitude. It is then Wren’s mission to identify training needs, provide the right environment and deliver effective content and opportunities to develop the right skills.

In a Covid-ravaged year when safety, compliance and continuity took centre stage, Wren assessed, employed and trained 123 new drivers in four months to manage a spike in orders. It also continued to deliver training and coaching that delivered efficiencies, increased performance, improved safety and supported individuals in their personal development.

The company has 15 RHA trained assessor/training managers working out of dedicated training academy facilities at six sites. During Covid, Wren doubled its training days when its facilities were forced to halve their throughput.

In the last 18 months it has introduced a number of initiatives delivering safety, commercial and personal benefits, including those focused on fuel-efficient driving, hard hats, new driver infringements, cross-department familiarisation and in-house firefighting.

From 306 successful applicants, 187 potential drivers progressed through the six-stage pre-employment programme.

At the end of stage six, Wren identified the 123 candidates who were invited to join its team.

Wren gives its staff the opportunity to progress through van, LGV and HGV licences. During 2020 another 11 apprentices joined its programme. All started as drivers and two took the opportunity to be transferred to the office programme. Another 16 apprentices were given full-time positions within the organisation following successful graduation from their apprenticeship schemes.

“This was a picture of a strong company. Training defines them and it’s enabled them to respond positively through the pandemic,” said one of our judges. “The entry ticked every box.”

“I want to thank my training team and the guys that work with me. I do give them grief, but it’s paid off!”

David Cooper, national transport compliance and training manager, Wren Kitchens