Apprentice Scheme Adds New Roles Following Success

In 2017, Fowler Welch launched its first ever apprenticeship scheme to train candidates over a 12 month practical programme, eventually leading them to achieve a Level 2 LGV Driving qualification.

Since the start of the programme, we now have 29 fully qualified drivers working permanently within the business, who started out with little or no previous experience.

The scheme has been incredibly well received by participants and colleagues alike and has received a lot of interest because of its success, so in 2019 it will be extend to include the roles of warehouse operators and supply chain operators.

These roles are aimed at bringing in different knowledge, skills and behaviours to our workforce and will be available across three sites.

So, why is the Fowler Welch Apprenticeship Scheme so successful? We give you all the details around the twelve month programme, with thoughts from our apprentices themselves:

The Objectives

The objective of the scheme is to go beyond what is offered by normal driver apprenticeships:

  • To benefit the sector as a whole
  • Create a programme that is challenging, relevant and provides genuine career opportunities for candidates
  • A programme structured to give every candidate the chance to succeed, blending practical training, classroom sessions, shadowing and supportive 1-2-1 mentoring.

Now in its third group of apprentices, the scheme’s recruitment process is open to anyone over the age of 18, no matter your level of experience. Being a Fowler Welch apprentice, we want you to have the best training and support possible, which is why we will only recruit the number of apprentices that we can support across each depot.

Jacob Pulling, Apprentice, Spalding, says:

“I’m 21 years old and I didn’t really think there was this kind of opportunity available for people my age.

“One of the best things about FW is the staff here, as soon as I came here I noticed how friendly everyone is, how open and warm they are, it’s really nice.”

Candidates can expect:

  • Practical and pastoral support at every stage
  • The opportunity to progress into a fulltime role at their depot after completion of the scheme.

A well-structured and diverse programme

The 12 month programme is designed to:

  • Equip candidates with the practical skills and knowledge they needed to become a confident and competent, qualified LGV driver
  • Prepare them for a career in the logistics sector
  • Induct them into the specifics of working within the Fowler Welch team.

To prepare apprentices for a career within the sector, the course includes work experience across the business beyond their driving role. This includes time spent in customer service, transport planning, despatch and warehouse roles. This offers apprentices a full overview of the company and their role within it to develop an understanding that others competing for the same roles simply wouldn’t have.

Driving is not  solely about practical application and is a highly responsible role, so our apprentices worked with a highly skilled industry mentor ‘buddy’ that could offer additional support and encouragement when needed, making sure each apprentice had the ability to reach their full potential.

James Ryland, Apprentice, Nuneaton says:

“The part I enjoyed about the training was the Cat C training and learning to drive a heavy goods vehicle. Before I came to Fowler Welch, I didn’t have any experience at all driving heavy goods vehicles, I mean I drive a Fiesta so it’s a big step up to drive an 18 tonner.

“Starting on the first day I was very nervous but the team around me made me feel very at ease and part of the team.”

Fowler Welch is an industry leader and our employees represent us on a daily basis, so we have put together a programme that aims to produce drivers that trained to the highest standards.

Antony Hart, Apprentice, Heywood says:

  • “Fowler Welch helped me to achieve my Class 2 and Class 1 licences to drive trucks for a living. Without the support and everything that Fowler Welch at Heywood have done for me I wouldn’t be doing the job I’m doing now.”

We are now recruiting for drivers, warehouse operatives and supply chain operators, to find out more about our recruitment days, click here.

To hear more of what our apprentices have to say about their experience no the programme, watch our video here.