Moody Logistics and Storage is using National Apprenticeship Week (8 to 14 February) to highlight the value of apprentices in helping the family-run firm address a nationwide shortage of qualified truck drivers.

The company has been so impressed with the results that it is now recruiting its fifth HGV driver apprentice.

Moody Logistics, which is based in Cramlington, Northumberland, has seen three of its former driver apprentices gain their HGV licences – with the fourth, Reece Slatter, recently passing his Class 1 as he nears the end of his training.

Managing director Caroline Moody said the driver apprentice initiative is successfully helping the firm overcome the problems surrounding driver recruitment.

There is an estimated shortage of 59,000 HGV drivers, a situation created by an aging workforce and the difficulties in attracting skilled younger people into the profession.

She said: “Apprenticeships have given us an opportunity to provide people with a clear path into a skilled, well-paid and in-demand career, which also leads to other opportunities within the wider logistics industry.

“Recruiting driver apprentices has allowed us to reduce the average age of our drivers – we now have four out of 24 drivers under the age of 30 – and we have found them all highly motivated and extremely competent.”

Alex Skelton, a former driver apprentice who passed his HGV licence last year was praised for his enhanced skill set and knowledge of the driving role. As part of his end point assessment, he was awarded a maximum six distinctions – one of only a select number to do so in the UK.

Moody Logistics is currently advertising for its fifth driver apprentice. There is no upper age limit, but the applicant must have a minimum two years’ driving experience.

Caroline, recently named winner of the Freight Leader category in the 2020 Amazon everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards, added: “Driver apprenticeships aren’t just an opportunity for those already within the logistics industry but anyone considering a change of career.

“There’s a common misconception that apprenticeships are for the under 25s, when in fact there is no age restriction, which means more people and more businesses can benefit.

“I would urge the logistics industry to consider the huge advantages in offering apprenticeships. It’s a cost-effective way of ensuring employees start their careers with exactly the right attitude, knowledge and skills.”