Chard based transport and logistics company, C&D South West are well aware of the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on industry performance and none more so than the transport and logistics sector.

With the increased reliance on online shopping and the change in consumer purchasing habits in recent times, the Logistics industry has seen double-digit growth and, whilst this is a positive thing, it’s no secret that the reliance on the transport sector has led to a shortage of drivers qualified to ship goods both in the UK and abroad.

Recognising the importance of having qualified drivers ready and available to enter the industry and in an attempt to combat driver shortages, C&D South West created their Driver Academy back in 2016. The brainchild of the Hammond family, owners and operators of the C&D business, the Academy provides an opportunity for those who have an ambition to enter their industry to undertake driver training in all types of vehicles, from small vans to Class 1 Heavy Goods Vehicles.

Over the past 5 years, the Academy has seen multiple drivers obtain licences and, despite a short delay caused by the pandemic, their latest successful academy apprentice has passed their Class 2 HGV goods licence and is now poised to take control of a C&D South West vehicle. Robin Stanley of Taunton said,

Robin Stanley, Driver Academy Apprentice

“I joined the Academy in August 2019 with the goal of becoming an HGV driver and, thanks to the opportunity afforded me by the company and the management team at C&D I’ve finally realised my ambition.

“The Covid-19 pandemic meant that I had to wait patiently until I was able to take my test, but it was well worth the wait. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel of a Class 2 truck and start to contribute to the business that’s provided me with so much support throughout what has been a very difficult time.”

The C&D Driver Academy is open to applications from anyone who expresses a keen interest in the Transport and Logistics industry. The minimum requirements are a clean Driving Licence to drive a car, along with passes in Maths and English at GCSE level. Applicants should be at least 25 years old, however inquiries from younger students will be considered and those who haven’t quite met the required GCSE grades may complete functional skills training whilst attending the training courses.

Lorna Hammond, C&D’s Managing Director said,

“We’re delighted that Robin has successfully passed his test and that he’s completed his time at the Academy. It’s a testament to his hard work and determination and the team is looking forward to finally seeing him on the road in his own vehicle.

“Now that there’s light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, we’re opening up another two places at the Academy with another two around October time. We’re inviting applications from interested drivers who have the ambition to join the C&D team.

“Places are provided free of charge, meaning that even those who don’t have the initial funds to undertake driver training can benefit. Some of our Academy students have obtained their licence within as little as 6 months although most are based around a 12 – 18 months apprenticeship.”

Anyone who would like to know more, please get in touch.

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