A female 32 year old pharmacy assistant has become one of the latest valuable recruits to the logistics industry as an LGV driver. Emma Wilson took up the challenge offered by the director of TPN member Jays Logistics (South-West) and took up one of the new apprenticeships to retrain as a driver.
The logistics industry has an acute shortage of LGV drivers, estimated at 45,000 by the Road Haulage Association. It also has a serious shortfall of younger adults joining the industry, with a mean driving age of 53. It is expected that Brexit will further limit driver numbers.
TPN – THE Pallet Network along with many of its Member companies have championed attracting young people into the logistics industry by highlighting the wide range of opportunities. Some of these were captured in its #THENextGeneration videos online.
Wilson passed her rigid licence in six months and already has parity with what she earned as a pharmacy assistant. She plans to take her CE licence at the end of the year. She says she has enjoyed the challenge of becoming a truck driver and that, although her gender causes a few raised eyebrows, the industry is nonetheless welcoming and supportive.
Paul Phillips, Jays' operations director says: "When Emma joined us in October 2017 we both took a leap of faith. Emma had never driven anything bigger than a Fiat 500. She's learnt the ropes and has been driving a 4m Sprinter since her start. Her confidence has soared, and she's a well-liked, valuable and hard-working member of the team."
He adds: "The transport and logistics industry is heavily male orientated and deemed expensive to get into. We need to face this challenge of the driver shortage head on. Companies like Jays Logistics in partnership with Somax & Weston College are offering many ways to get into the industry including warehouse, driving and office apprenticeships.
"I also feel that women are very under-represented in our industry and we need to show that it is open to everyone."
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