SP Training of Carlisle, Cumbria put two new Scania vehicles on the road in partnership with Stobart Group, Yodel and Scania ( Great Britain ) Ltd

Robin Brown, MD of SP Training (left), takes delivery of two Scania's from Dale Foster, head of vehicle sales and replacements at Stobart Group: CREDIT: Stuart Walker Photography 2017

Stobart Group is to use Carlisle-based SP Training to run an apprenticeship scheme and provide drivers for Stobart Energy – formerly Stobart Biomass.

SP Training will be responsible for apprentices obtaining HGV driving licences and will provide customer service and training for drivers. Stobart Group will then put successful apprentices through training specific to the biomass operation before pairing them up with experienced drivers already employed in the operation.

Stobart Group head of human resources Joanna Secular-Hall said: “As the Stobart Energy division has expanded, we have experienced the need for more skilled drivers. Stobart Group is committed to developing professional driver apprenticeships and, with the help of SP Training, intends to fill those gaps with highly-trained drivers of our own.”

SP Training was launched in June 2016 by chairman Robin Brown and MD Tony Higgins.

Brown said: “With a shortfall of more than 60,000 drivers, the UK road haulage industry is facing a crisis – and this is a unique partnership between two Cumbrian companies determined to do something about it. The Stobart Group professional driver apprenticeship programme aims to tackle the problem head-on by providing highly-trained drivers of any age to its ranks, and we are delighted to be working with both them and the next generation of drivers.”

SP Training is based at the same location near Carlisle airport that System Group operated from. It is not to be confused with System Group – the former division of Bibby Supply Chain that was sold to Bridgewater Human Capital in January 2015 after a series of losses – where Brown was a director.

Robin Brown, MD of SP Training (pictured left), takes delivery of two Scania's from Dale Foster, head of vehicle sales and replacements at Stobart Group. CREDIT: Stuart Walker Photography 2017