A Wrexham haulage firm has chosen to “grow its own” and launched a training academy to sprout new HGV drivers.
Starting behind the wheel of a van, new employees at McCarthy Distribution will be given the opportunity to move to Class 1 level in order to drive rigids and then take control of an articulated truck.
The haulage and warehousing company said it liked to take things “slow and steady” and this initiative was part of a plan to seed future growth and create 30 new jobs.
It said it would cover all the training costs and get drivers up to speed in exchange for them agreeing to stay with them for at least two years.
Diane Howell, HR administrator, said: “Staff retention here is excellent because McCarthy is a great company to work for but we are growing so there is a constant need to recruit new drivers.
“The cost of training a driver from a 3.5 ton van to Class 2 and then Class 1 can be up to £6,000, which is a significant investment by McCarthy so we ask them to sign a training agreement that ties them to the company for a minimum of two years.
“The pay rates for drivers are pretty good and on top of that there are some pretty generous bonuses.”
Connor Dudds, 22, is a recent academy graduate and he said he was following in the footsteps of his truck driving dad and grandad: “Driving trucks is in my DNA so I always knew that I wanted to become a driver,” he said.
“The training here has been excellent and I’m very happy to achieve my dream.
“The best thing was that I passed first time with zero minors or minor faults. So it was a perfect pass and really a proud moment. I phoned my dad straight away to let him know.
“McCarthy is a brilliant company to work for and everyone gets along well. It’s more like a family place to work really,” he added.
Nick Mogg mentors McCarthy’s new recruits after they take up a job at the firm: “I am part of the fixtures here and I buddy up with the new drivers coming through,” he said.
“We don’t chuck them in at the deep end in the beginning.”
Trainer Kevin Dandy said the McCarthy experience was in contrast to his first day in the industry: “When I first started with a haulage company in Chester, they gave me three drops into London on my first day, whereas we look after our drivers here, and make sure that they know what they’re doing.
“We’ve got some real quality blue chip customers at McCarthy so it’s important that we look after our team, sending the right candidates and the right people to site.
“We’ve got such a good team of drivers and the office staff are brilliant.
It’s a really nice place to work.”