Boroughbridge logistics company offers free HGV driver training

Lee Wilson of Ripon is one of the first people to have qualified as an HGV driver with Boroughbridge-based Reed Boardall’s new Driver Academy.

Boroughbridge-based Reed Boardall, whose Roecliffe premises next to the A1(M) are one the largest of their kind in Europe, launched its Driver Academy last autumn and has already successfully qualified 14 drivers. Aware of the impending problem as the impact of Brexit and Covid saw a significant fall in driver numbers, the business has spent the last year setting up its own driver training facility at its Boroughbridge site to help those wanting to change careers. Reed Boardall is now offering a number of courses to help people to enter the sector and is supporting the up-front costs of training.

No previous experience is required; candidates just need to have a full UK driving licence. Ross Morris, health and safety, training and development manager at Reed Boardall, said: “Increasingly, people are wanting to move into different sectors and try different jobs, often later in life, but many have been put off becoming an HGV driver because of the high cost of the training and the test fees.

Sign up to our daily Harrogate Advertiser Today newsletter

“With a growing number of vacancies within our transport operation, we decided that the answer was to invest in the next generation of HGV drivers by setting up our own Driver Academy to provide the training and support they needed. We’re keen to attract as much new talent to the industry as we can, from all ages and backgrounds, including younger people and women who may not have considered this career previously.”

Lee Wilson of Ripon, who has worked for Reed Boardall for 18 years, completed his training with the company in March and is now a qualified HGV driver. He said: “I always fancied taking my HGV, but was put off by the cost. Once Reed Boardall started its Driver Academy, I jumped at the chance – now I’m HGV driving and I wish I’d done it years ago.”

Stevland Town, managing director of Reed Boardall’s transport division, added: “Our initiative to attract more talent into the industry will help to future-proof the business as we continue to grow alongside our customers.”