John Lewis opens academy to address driver shortage

John Lewis plans to open a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) driver academy next month to fast-track training in an attempt to reduce the industry’s driver shortage.

From November, the academy will train drivers to sit the DVLA LGV and practical safety tests in just 13 weeks.

The retailer said that it would train up to 90 people per year across its four training facilities in Aylesford, Bracknell, London, and Milton Keynes.

The training is designed for people who may already be drivers of smaller delivery vehicles.

The company is also increasing the number of 12-month LGV driver apprenticeships it offers.

“In August, we increased pay and introduced a £1,000 welcome payment for qualified LGV drivers who join us before November,” said Mark Robinson, partner and director of supply chain, the John Lewis Partnership. “This investment in training is a longer term solution to the industry shortage.”

Robinson added: “Due to the size of our business and range of services, we can offer drivers not just a job, but unrivalled career opportunities. We will pay our drivers to do further training to change roles from delivering groceries to Waitrose customers, to driving a 3.5 tonne truck to deliver goods to our shops, or learn how to deliver and install washing machines, TVs and lighting, providing excellent customer service for our John Lewis customers.”

The training places will initially be available to people who currently work for the John Lewis Partnership but in January 2022 spaces will be opened up to applicants outside of the company.

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