Driving course puts staff on road to career success

Participants of the BCS Driver Academy scheme pictured outside the firm's Mansfield branch with national transport manager Phil Haskew (first left) and HR manager Richard Gray (second left), and Nick Maidment, from West Nottinghamshire College (first right).
Participants of the BCS Driver Academy scheme pictured outside the firm's Mansfield branch with national transport manager Phil Haskew (first left) and HR manager Richard Gray (second left), and Nick Maidment, from West Nottinghamshire College (first right).

Delivery drivers and warehouse staff at the Sutton branch of a leading distribution company are on the road to career success.

For the company, Bunzl Catering Supplies (BCS), has joined forces with West Nottinghamshire College in the town to run a tailor-made training course that equips employees with the skills and qualifications to become ‘elite’ drivers.

The BCS Driver Academy scheme has been launched to offer career progression opportunities for the firm’s workforce, while also tackling a national shortage of drivers in the haulage industry.

The first 11 participants will work towards a level 2 apprenticeship over 12 months when they will receive training from tutors and assessors.

Three of them are from BCS’s Sutton branch at Orchard Way, off King’s Mill Road West. They include John Bowers, 38, who works as a warehouse operative and a forklift truck driver.

He said: “I passed my driving test a year ago and now I want to become a full-time delivery driver with BCS. I’ve worked here for 17 years, and I’m really excited about this opportunity.”

Colleague Peter Jenner, 47, said the course would enable him to advance from driving a 7.5-tonne vehicle to an 18-tonne truck.

“It will also help me to become a better driver,” he said. “You’re never too old to acquire new skills.”

Nick Maidment, of West Notts College, said: “We are delighted to deliver this bespoke training course and help the company build a new generation of professional drivers.”