Aspiring LGV drivers at leading logistics and distribution company Hermes are benefitting from a new apprenticeship programme that is opening doors to exciting career opportunities within the business.
Sarah Page from Hermes’ Rugby hub is one of three drivers who has recently completed the level 2 LGV driver apprenticeship, gaining both her Class 1 and Class 2 licences and achieving a distinction in her end point assessment.
Road to opportunity
Sarah joined Hermes on their LGV Driver Level 2 apprenticeship programme in June 2019. She had already spent 9 years driving buses and coaches, but had found no viable avenues to progress her career further. She also knew she needed a Category C license to drive commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, which would give her access to a wider range of opportunities.
Sarah knew people who had self-funded their training in order to obtain a Category C licence, but had then struggled to find work as they lacked tangible experience. She realised that having opportunities to gain relevant experience would be just as important as obtaining a licence, and was keen to find a different way forward.
Hermes’ LGV driver apprenticeship programme offered Sarah the opportunity she was looking for: a chance to gain her Category C licence while learning on the job and gaining vital work experience.
Sarah initially completed a short online assessment, and was invited to attend an assessment day at Hermes. After a short presentation by the employer and Seetec Outsource, where candidates were given information about the role and details of what the apprenticeship would involve, Sarah was invited to attend an interview. A few days later she received the good news that she had been successful.
Learning on the job
During her first two weeks at Hermes Sarah completed a period of induction, shadowing senior colleagues and finding out more about the role. She then began work driving smaller delivery vans up to 3.5 tonnes.
In November 2019, following a week of intensive training with a test at the end, Sarah gained her Category C driving licence, which allowed her to drive larger commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. This meant that she could now undertake new work assignments, delivering from one depot to another.
Hermes also chose to fund training for their apprentices to gain a Category C+E licence, which enables them to operate an articulated vehicle or a rigid vehicle towing a large trailer. Sarah gained this additional licence in February 2020, and is now able to complete an even wider range of assignments for Hermes, resulting in increased pay and enhanced career prospects.
Throughout her apprenticeship, Seetec Outsource supported Sarah in various ways. She was assigned an apprenticeship development coach who visited her on a monthly basis and carried out regular apprenticeship reviews.
She also attended a number of workshops along with the other apprentices as part of the programme, and undertook independent online learning via Pivot, Seetec’s e-learning platform.
With the support of her functional skills tutor, Alex, Sarah also went on to achieve her level 2 functional skills qualifications in English and maths, which is a requirement of the programme.
Reaping the rewards
Sarah completed her apprenticeship in July 2020, achieving a distinction, and was hugely grateful for the support she received from Hermes and from the team at Seetec Outsource. She said,
“I’m so appreciative of all the help I’ve received. My coach and tutor consistently provided me with any information I needed, and were always available to answer any questions I had. I’m also very grateful to Hermes for the support I’ve been given as a new employee, and for opening the door to new and exciting career opportunities.”
Sarah’s apprenticehip development coach Tony was delighted with her performance on programme. He said,
“Sarah was very knowledgeable about her subject and had such a strong desire to learn and move forward in life. She thoroughly deserves the excellent results she achieved. Sarah is a fine example of how a keen and committed interest in learning can bring amazing rewards and the opportunity to progress in a career.”
Jenny Haynes, Learning and Development Business Parter at Hermes, is enthusiastic about the benefits that apprenticeships bring to the business. She said,
“Working in partnership with Seetec Outsource, we’re able to utilise our apprenticeship levy to fund vital training for talented young people coming into the logistics industry. Sarah’s personal journey provides a fantastic example of the importance of utilising this resource to nurture and develop the next generation of talent at Hermes.”
For more information about the level 2 LGV driver apprenticeship please visit our programme page.