2 March 2015
A new logistics firm which will train and then recruit its newly qualified drivers has launched this month, and credits support and guidance from SEMLEP’s Velocity business support programme for significant cost savings.
AE Driver Training and Recruitment, based on Northampton’s Brackmills Industrial Estate, will fund up to 100 Category C+E licences over the next 12 months. It will then provide a guaranteed job for those who pass and will provide professionally trained delivery drivers for local businesses.
Elaine Harries, of Action Express Ltd, also based on Brackmills, set up the new company with business partner Syed Ziaullah.
She said: “There’s currently a major shortage of Category C + E drivers here in the UK, while at the same time the ever increasing popularity of internet retailing has meant there is greater demand for drivers than ever before.
“We’re open to any applicant with the drive and determination to do well however, we are particularly interested in young people. With more than 250,000 drivers expected to retire in the next 15 years we hope that by offering to pay the £2,500 cost of a licence application we can encourage more people age 21 and up to consider a career in logistics.”
Elaine approached SEMLEP’s Velocity business support programme last year to seek advice on the best software to suit her business and to streamline online processes.
“I was all set to invest in a new computer system and contacted Velocity about a grant,” said Elaine. “The business adviser helped me to see that I could re-organise my existing systems to achieve the same thing, effectively saving me £30,000. It’s been terrific.”
The launch of this new company comes hot on the heels of SEMLEP’s logistics event, held at Towcester Racecourse last year, at which businesses flagged up the lack of drivers working the logistics and supply chain sector as a pressing threat to the UK economy.
Speaking at the event Cllr Mary Clarke, Chair of SEMLEP Logistics and Supply Chain Group and leader of South Northants Council, said: “The UK PLC just won’t work if we can’t get freight moving around and businesses from across the South East Midlands have told us today that it is critical we recruit, skill and retain drivers.”