XPO, a leading provider of innovative and sustainable end-to-end logistics solutions across Europe, has developed a new XPO Logistics Driver Excellence Academy to offer opportunities to those both from within and outside the business who want to qualify as HGV drivers. 
The Academy is already running at four XPO sites in Kirkby Thore in Cumbria, Leeds in West Yorkshire, Ilkeston in Derbyshire, and Dordon in North Warwickshire with 100% pass rates for some cohorts. XPO created an Academy toolkit so that any site can implement the programme where there is demand. 
XPO is looking for people from all backgrounds to join the academy. The only classification is that the individual must be aged 21 to drive a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), but this reduces to age 18 if someone is on an apprenticeship.  
Each Academy trainee would work towards receiving the relevant qualification for the type of vehicle they want to drive. For example, a Cat B license entitles someone to drive a car, which can be upskilled to a Cat Class C (Rigid) or Cat CE (Artic). It is possible to go straight from a Cat B to a Cat CE license. 
The training course – built around XPO’s ‘One Best Way’ for driver training – will take place in stages, providing a comprehensive training plan with XPO Logistics’ qualified instructors supporting the journey from start to finish. XPO’s support doesn’t stop after the driver passes their test. There is an additional four-week buddying-up process which includes follow-ups. The company aims to offer the best possible training experience not just by acquiring the license, but also by providing the confidence and good judgment that will be facilitated through ongoing support, even after the license is attained. 
Lynn Brown, vice president – human resources – UK and Ireland, XPO Logistics, said: “The investment we have made will benefit the whole logistics industry. It also underlines that XPO is an employer of choice with 2500 drivers to date in the UK and Ireland. The XPO Driver Excellence Academy will welcome all individuals irrespective of training and will provide a route into our industry that offers a great career choice. This initiative will help reduce the driver shortage in the UK by investing in training more people and offering them permanent roles following successful training.”  
There will also be a specific push to increase the number of female drivers trained through the XPO Driver Excellence Academy via a targeted recruitment campaign. According to the Transport Exchange Group, women are still heavily underrepresented in the road transport and logistics industry. They make up only 20% of transport sector staff with 1%-3% of HGV drivers.