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Jay has been working with us for nearly four years in our warehouse, and at the beginning of 2022, he expressed his interest in developing and widening his skillset in the industry and obtaining his HGV License. It’s no secret that right now, demand is high for talented and capable HGV drivers nationwide. When he approached Mixed Freight about training, we knew the time was ripe.
We chatted to Jay first thing on a Friday morning before his multiple-choice theory exam in the afternoon to learn a bit more about him, what’s involved in the qualification, his time at Mixed Freight, and the advice he’d give to anyone interested in pursuing a career in the transportation, handling and logistics sector.
I’ve always been a very practical and hands-on person and I knew that when I finished school, I wanted to do something vocational; sixth form or college weren’t the right options for me. That’s why I decided to do an apprenticeship with Mixed Freight and get paid whilst I trained; my apprenticeship lasted about two years. Now, I’ve been with Mixed Freight for nearly four years!
The training gave me the opportunity to gain skills and experiences to work within a warehouse operation, operate forklifts, security x-ray machines, sea freight containers etc. I knew that I’d have the opportunity to keep training and advancing in the company, which is why I’m training for my HGV License right now. Since working at Mixed Freight, I’ve found a really great group of friends and a community. Of course, there are stressful periods, but we always find time to have a laugh and look out for one another.
Tell us a bit about your exam this afternoon and what’s involved in the HGV License training
There are two exams you have to sit before you get behind the wheel. First, I had to pass my hazards perception test. This afternoon I’ve got another theory exam where I have to answer one hundred questions and get at least eighty-five correct to pass. Once I’ve passed, I progress towards driving lessons in preparation for my test, and then complete my Certificate in Professional Competence which consists of 35 hours of classroom training.
Nationwide, there’s currently a shortage of drivers in the industry. Before the pandemic, you had to complete your Class 2 before progressing to your Class 1. Now the government has made it easier to get your Class 1 License, as they’re currently giving people the opportunity to progress straight to this qualification. I spoke with my managers about this and knew I wanted to branch out and further my development in this area. They also recognised that now would be a great time for me to go for it and to take action, so I did!
I feel like this early in my career, it’s important I keep my options open and try lots of things, so this feels like the next logical step.
How have you found the training so far?
They’re really interesting exams, and it’s important you put time and effort into your studies. You’ve got to know the ins-and-outs of commercial vehicles, road awareness, health and safety etc. You have to be prepared to answer questions like how to position a load, strap your freight down, what do you do with blind spots in certain situations. The thing is though, I’m not trying to rush it, I’m becoming more and more confident and capable, especially whilst I’m working in a logistics environment and gaining knowledge from more experienced guys.
How have Mixed Freight supported you?
They understood that I was becoming more curious about other aspects of the industry and wanted to enhance my current skills. They’re always very supportive of anyone who wants to advance in the company and give you the guidance you’ll need. There’s a lot of scope to try different things.
What would you say to anyone who is interested in joining Mixed Freight and training to get an HGV License?
Be curious. When I left school, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do, but when I joined Mixed Freight, I was able to get my forklift license, then my NXCT license to operate an x-ray machine, now I’m qualifying for an HGV License. There might be some things you try which aren’t for you, but there are plenty of other jobs and roles at Mixed Freight for you to sink your teeth into. Particularly for anyone who is leaving education, I think Mixed Freight and the aviation logistics industry are great first places to venture into when starting your career.
Just getting out on the road and finally using my new skillset!
Jay is an example of one of the many employees going from strength to strength at Mixed Freight – and the good news, he passed his multiple-choice exam that afternoon and is poised to get behind the wheel and start his lessons!
At Mixed Freight, we’re dedicated to the professional development and growth of everyone in our team. If you’re interested in working for Mixed Freight or you’d like to find out more about HGV License training, we’re happy to help.
Get in touch with us today and take your first steps to getting on the open road.