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Croydon haulier’s training scheme puts new drivers in the fast lane

A London-based logistics specialist has invested in training local talent to overcome the region’s HGV driver shortage.

ELB Partners, which is based in Croydon, has teamed up with leading driving school, EP Training Services, to train a new generation of drivers and upskill its workforce.

Sam Cates

Sam Cates

The partnership is positive news for drivers Sam Cates, Liam Montey and Philip Bennet, who have all successfully gained their Class 2 HGV licences thanks to ELB Partners’ investment.

The trio are all now qualified to drive trucks over 3,500kg and are supporting the business with its nationwide deliveries.

Sam and Philip have also gained HazChem certificates, enabling them to transport goods throughout the UK and Europe as part of the firm’s membership of The Hazchem Network – a pallet network specialising in the movement of hazardous freight.

In addition, former trainee teacher Sam, who joined ELB Partners in November 2020, has gained a crane truck licence and will undergo training for an HGV Class 1 licence in 2023.

He said: “I had been working in primary school while gaining my teaching degree however, after funding for my role was removed, I turned to something I love – driving.

“HGV training can be expensive so being able to do it through ELB Partners has given me the freedom of learning, training and enjoying life on the road behind the wheel of an 18-tonne lorry, without the financial burden.

“Before joining the company, I wasn’t aware of the many different additions that are available to your driving entitlements.

“Getting the opportunity to be able to learn how to carry hazardous goods, for example, was an amazing experience, likewise with gaining my lorry loading license.

“No two days are the same as the deliveries and loads are always different, as on one drop you could be carrying a car engine and the next a pallet of sodium hypochlorite.

“There are always opportunities for drivers to develop their wealth of knowledge and ELB is always willing to invest time and money in its employees.”

Peter Eason, managing director at ELB Partners, said: “Like every logistics firm, we have been impacted by the HGV driver shortage and have developed a new approach to driver recruitment.

“We’ve found that there are a lot of would-be HGV drivers out there with huge potential, but they can’t afford to invest in the training without the guarantee of a job at the end of it.

“By working with EP Training, we are able to recruit the right people based on their interest and enthusiasm for the role and provide the training they need to gain their HGV licences.

“We’re pleased to have enabled Sam, Liam and Philip to gain the skills they needed to enter the profession and we already have three van drivers lined up to undergo the same training process with in 2023.”

Sean Pargeter, director at EP Training Services, said: “We have worked with ELB for many years and they are a great company to work with as they are keen and eager to offer newly-trained and qualified HGV drivers an opportunity.

“There are few companies that will take a punt on a newbie, however, Peter is more interested in those with the right attitude and aptitude, as opposed to having the mandatory two years’ experience.

“It’s great for EP Training Services as we can offer newly-qualified drivers the chance to get on the ladder and work with ELB Partners.”

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