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System Training’s partnership with Eddie Stobart, to deliver a brand new logistics apprenticeship programme, has been hailed as the best in the industry after winning Apprenticeship of the Year at the Motor Transport Awards in London last night.
It beat off fierce competition to lift the new award which had been introduced to recognise the important part apprenticeships have to play in introducing highly-trained young people to the logistics industry.
The winning apprenticeship programme clearly demonstrated the benefits of a partnership approach. System Training accesses funding for the programme, not usually achievable by employers, and supervises the selection process. The initial 26-week training, part of the overall two-year apprenticeship, sees System Training deliver 13 weeks of classroom, workshop and practical training – including preparing the apprentices, using the unique driving simulator, to gain their LGV licences.
Eddie Stobart then takes over and conditions the apprentices to driving heavy, loaded vehicles and provides the Group-wide experience required. It selected a series of experienced drivers to act as mentors to the apprentices. Mentors and students spend 13 weeks on the road, with apprentices undertaking an increasing amount of driving, to learn Stobart processes and procedures.
The initial cohort had a treble 100% success rate with every apprentice passing their category C, C+E licences, successfully completing the scheme and taking up a role within Eddie Stobart.
System Training has many years experience in running and delivering logistics apprenticeships and has assisted Skills for Logistics and the National Skills Academy in developing their offering for employers.
The Motor Transport awards is the road transport industry event of the year and was attended by 1,600 of the industry’s most successful companies.
Robin Brown, System Training chief executive, said: "This award demonstrates the benefits of a long-term partnership between a quality training provider and operators when it comes to successful apprenticeship programmes. We've worked closely with Eddie Stobart to build a programme which combines high quality training and qualifications with essential mentoring and experience. Quality apprenticeships as a key route to the logistics industry for young people and an important way for the industry to help address the forecast driver shortage problem."
Andrew Tinkler, Stobart Group chief executive, said: “The Eddie Stobart apprenticeship programme is a crucial strand in our recruitment process and our investment in the future of our workforce. With an overall ageing logistics industry, we see apprenticeships as a vital method of bringing highly-trained and motivated young people into our business as the first step on their way to a long career in logistics. There are many career opportunities in logistics and we are already starting to see talented people emerging from the apprenticeship programme.”
Picture shows L-R: Jimmy Carr (comedian), Neale Burdon (Eddie Stobart training manager), Robin Brown (System Training chief executive), Chris Kelly (award sponsor Keltruck).