A.F. Blakemore & Son’s driver training programmes have enabled 108 colleagues to gain a new LGV driving licence in the past 12 months, completely free of charge.

As a result of embarking on LGV driver training with the company, 77 colleagues have gained a Class 1 licence and 31 have gained a Class 2 licence.

A.F. Blakemore has covered all training costs and fees. A further 34 people are currently on a driver training programme with the business.

With an ongoing commitment to colleague learning and development, A.F. Blakemore launched its first LGV driver training programme in 2008.

Today the business runs two driver training programmes that enable both employees and prospective employees with no prior LGV driving experience to train as Class 1 or 2 drivers. Class 1 upgrades are available for A.F. Blakemore colleagues with six months of service.

A.F. Blakemore Logistics Compliance Manager Dave Higgs commented: “The driver shortage in the UK is one of the biggest challenges facing the logistics sector.

“As a business we have been doing our best to step up to the challenge by adjusting our recruitment processes, reviewing driver pay and benefits and investing in driver training.

“Our training programmes offer both existing colleagues and new recruits a fantastic opportunity to progress their careers at the same time as ensuring a pipeline of qualified drivers to help the business remain profitable and sustainable for the long term.”

Over the past 18 months, A.F. Blakemore has invested circa £250,000 in driver training.

In the past 12 months alone, 78 new recruits have been taken on by the company specifically for driver training.

Driver training opportunities have been made available across A.F. Blakemore’s distribution depots in the West Midlands, South Wales, Bedford and Wakefield.