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Stratford in the driving seat

Press Release   •   Dec 08, 2003 11:21 GMT

In response to the national shortage of drivers, Arla Foods UK plc is on the look out for young trainee drivers to take part in a driver apprenticeship scheme at Stratford.

Arla has teamed up with the Road Haulage and Distribution Training Council (RHDTC) and next week will be advertising in East London's local press for recruits to the scheme, which is designed to encourage young people to begin a career as a heavy goods driver.

"We're looking to recruit up to four young people aged approximately 17-and-a-half, who hold a full car licence and who are a high standard of driver with the potential to move up the ladder to team leader/line manager level," explained Dave Paxton, regional distribution development officer who is managing the scheme.

"The Young LGV Driver Scheme gives apprentices the opportunity to work towards obtaining a large goods vehicle (LGV) driving licence when they are 18, rather than having to wait until they're 21, which is the age you normally have to be.

"Once the apprentices have passed the category C driving test at 18 they can drive a rigid HGV and once they are 21 can go for an Articulated HGV licence which will allow them to drive artic lorries.

"It's an excellent way of recruiting young drivers before they pursue other careers and introduces them to a profession which currently has a shortage of new starters," said Dave.

The initial six month training scheme covers a full introduction to the dairy industry as well driver theory and practical training. Apprentices also have to take an NVQ in Transporting Goods By Road.

This is the first time Arla has been involved with apprenticeships of this nature and the Stratford team are working with a company called Big Wheelers who will deliver the training. Once trainees have gained the category C licence at 18, this is held under the address of the RHDTC, not the driver, therefore they can only drive for Arla Foods, until they are 21 years.

Arla Foods UK plc is home to some of the UK’s leading dairy brands including Cravendale, Lurpak and Anchor. Processing approximately two billion litres of milk a year Arla continues to be one of the UK’s leading dairy companies and a supplier of fresh liquid milk and cream to the top seven retailers.

Over 2,500 daily deliveries are made directly to stores nationwide and Arla brands can be found across the dairy category. As well as the leader of the butter, spreads and margarine sector, and a major supplier of other added value products including flavoured milk and cheese, Arla continues to build working relationships with Arla Foods Milk Partnership, a unique group of dairy farmers, which supplies around 90 per cent of Arla's total milk requirements.

Behind this leading business is a team of circa 2,800 people across the UK located at our dairies, distribution centres and head office.