Reed Boardall has hailed the success of its Driver Academy, which launched last autumn and has already qualified 14 drivers.

The Yorkshire-based cold storage and distribution specialist has spent the last year setting up the training facility at its Boroughbridge site to help those wanting to change careers.

It is now offering a number of courses to help people to enter the sector and is supporting the up-front costs of training. No previous experience is required and candidates just need to have a full UK driving licence.

Health and safety and training and development manager, Ross Morris, explained that people are increasingly wanting to move into different sectors and try different jobs, often later in life, but many have been put off becoming an HGV driver by the high cost of training and the test fees.

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“With a growing number of vacancies within our transport operation, we decided that the answer was to invest in the next generation of HGV drivers by setting up our own Driver Academy to provide the training and support they needed," he said. "We’re keen to attract as much new talent to the industry as we can, from all ages and backgrounds, including younger people and women who may not have considered this career previously.”

Reed Boardall employee Lee Wilson (pictured), who has been with the firm for 18 years, completed his training in March and is now a qualified HGV driver: “I always fancied taking my HGV, but was put off by the cost," he said. "Once Reed Boardall started its Driver Academy, I jumped at the chance - now I’m HGV driving and I wish I’d done it years ago.

“Reed Boardall has always been a great company to work for and I look forward to many years driving HGVs for them.”

Added Stevland Town, MD of Reed Boardall’s transport division: “Our initiative to attract more talent into the industry will help to future-proof the business as we continue to grow alongside our customers.

"Congratulations to all of our new drivers who have passed their HGV tests and are now well on their way to enjoying a rewarding and long-term career with us.”