XPO creates female driver academy to bring more women into haulage

XPO has launched a female driver academy in an effort to attract more women into the industry.

Candidates will undertake a 12 to 16-week programme using the logistics company’s driver training team to develop their skills and create a corps of skilled and professional female drivers.

Lynn Brown, XPO Logistics vice president, human resources, said: “We will be employing the candidates from day one so they can earn a living while training to become a vital part of our team.

“Our customer, Saint-Gobain UK and Ireland, has backed the initiative by offering roles in their British Gypsum and PAM operations.

“Our trainer will buddy our candidates, ensuring they can learn from someone who has first-hand experience of what they are going through and can provide the best possible support.”

The first female driver academy candidates are expected to start driving HGVs full-time for XPO by August this year.

One of them, Steph, is already a DAF commercial vehicle parts delivery driver who transports HGV components to dealerships.

She said she was “beyond excited” to get behind the wheel of a truck after spending her summer months as a child touring Europe in her grandfather’s HGV completing continental deliveries.

“This is a great opportunity to get more women involved in the HGV industry,” she said.

“There are other ways to achieve your license, but most HGV jobs require years of experience. The academy gives you more knowledge and experience.”

Another candidate, Casey, was an apprentice tattoo artist who previously worked in an XPO warehouse.

She said: “I have wanted to be a truck driver since I was four years old and now I’ll be able to learn about the life of a trucker.

“The female academy is a great campaign for women, allowing people like me to start a good career and fulfil our dreams. Without this life-changing opportunity with the academy, I wouldn’t have been able to start my dream career.”

XPO said the only requirements to join the academy are that participants must be aged 18 to drive an HGV.

Each trainee will work towards receiving the relevant qualification for the type of vehicle they want to drive. A Cat B car licence can be upskilled to a Cat Class C or Cat CE and it is possible to go straight from a Cat B to a Cat CE licence.

Data recently obtained by training firm HGVC showed that more new female HGV drivers were joining the industry than their counterparts in the bus and coach sector.

Original Article – XPO creates female driver academy to bring more women into haulage (motortransport.co.uk)

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