Read all about how Fowler Welch has been helping one of its apprentices forge a rewarding and successful career in logistics

The Driver Apprenticeship Scheme began in 2017 and has so far delivered a significant number of fully qualified LGV drivers permanently employed with Fowler Welch, with a several apprentices currently gaining their qualification in a number of disciplines.

The aim of our apprenticeship scheme is to attract new talent into the logistics industry and it is open to anyone looking to be developed into a highly skilled LGV driver, warehouse operator or supply chain operator.

James Ryland, 23, from Nuneaton was part of the first intake of apprentices in 2017. He originally trained as an LGV driver, acquiring both Cat C and Cat C&E licences, and now also carries out a number of other duties across the business.

Here, he tells us all about his journey with Fowler Welch, in his own words:

“My stepdad works for Fowler Welch at the Nuneaton depot and I found out about the apprenticeship scheme from him. At the time I was working as a store manager, but I was keen to better myself and the challenge appealed to me.

“I applied in 2017 and was interviewed over the phone before being invited in to take part in some classroom-based exercises and a face-to-face interview. The other candidates and I also had our driving skills assessed in a 3.5 tonne van.

“There were around eight candidates and I was one of two selected onto the scheme. It was great to find out I’d been successful; I genuinely couldn’t believe it!

“My first days involved a health and safety induction and lot of introductions; to the site, to the facilities and to the staff.

“I soon found the best thing about a Fowler Welch apprenticeship is you really get to know the business inside out. It’s not just about driving – I’ve spent time with every department. The transport office is like a machine and I have gotten to know how every part works.

“It means that while I started the scheme thinking I would be a driver, I’ve actually discovered other aspects of the business that I really enjoy – although I continue to drive as well.

“One of my favourite jobs is planning. Drivers will call with problems and I give them workable solutions. It’s like solving a new puzzle every day.

“I’m not sure if I’d prefer to pursue an office-based or driving role long-term: Right now I’m just enjoying getting a unique insight into the side of the business that drivers often don’t get to see.

“To anyone thinking about applying for a place on the apprenticeship scheme I would highly recommend it. You get the opportunity to learn so much in an incredibly supportive environment. I can honestly say the last two years have been a life-changing experience.”

It’s so rewarding to see James and our other apprentices doing well and forging careers in logistics. That’s what the scheme is all about; real career development and staff engagement, rather than just training for individual roles. As a Fowler Welch apprentice, we can help identify your strengths and give you an insight into jobs you may never have considered.

The LGV driver scheme has been so successful we have now extended our apprenticeships to cover Warehouse Operator and Supply Chain Operator roles.

Like the LGV driver apprenticeship, the newly covered positions will include regular on-the-job team and one-to-one training as well as ‘buddy’ support sessions. And once the 12-month programme is complete, it will result in a Level 2 nationally recognised qualification, as well as Level 1 qualifications in both English and Maths.

Want to see more?  Watch our apprenticeship video!

Applications are currently closed for the 2019 intake, but check back early in the new year when we will start our next round of recruitment!