The John Lewis Partnership is set to open an LGV Driver Academy next month, in a bid to train drivers in 13 weeks to sit the DVLA LGV theory and practical safety tests and tackle the current drivers shortage.
It has pledged to train up to 90 people per year through the academy at its four training facilities in Aylesford, Bracknell, London and Milton Keynes.
The new “fast track” training is designed for people who may already be drivers of smaller delivery vehicles, according to the group.
The partnership said it will also increase the number of 12 month LGV driver apprenticeships it offers to people who are starting out in their driving career, and offer more apprenticeships for people who want to train to become Waitrose and John Lewis Delivery Drivers.
Mark Robinson, partner and director of Supply Chain said: “In August, we increased pay and introduced a £1,000 welcome payment for qualified LGV drivers who join us before November. This investment in training is a longer term solution to the industry shortage.
“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 group.
The John Lewis Partnership currently employs over 900 LGV drivers and uses 42 distribution sites across the UK.