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Delivering driver training in Zambia

Industry views | 23 June 2017

Chris Clark Wincanton in front of lorry

By Chris Clark, HSE Training Manager Wincanton Petroleum

Ensuring our drivers have the most comprehensive and up-to-date training is at the top of our priorities as a business. I have the privilege of working alongside some of the best driver trainers in the industry and I’m keen to share my knowledge and know-how to ensure the roads are as safe as they can be for all. As a result of Wincanton’s reputation for excellence in this area we were contacted by the charity Transaid which promotes driving safety and standards across Africa. The charity runs programmes in Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Madagascar and Zambia and it was the project in Zambia which I recently had the opportunity to visit and deliver a driver training course.

With road traffic accidents named as one of the biggest killers in Zambia, comprehensive driver training and increased safety standards are vital to the country in support of its growth. Utilising the expertise of UK-based companies and Training Managers like myself can offer a significant boost to standards across Africa.

During my brief time in Zambia I witnessed first-hand the gulf between UK standards and those in Zambia. Seeing a tanker waiting to collect a fuel load missing five wheel nuts across the vehicle was not only a surprise, but the lack of concern displayed by the driver was a stark contrast to what I’d expect if a similar fault was pointed out to a driver at home. It’s small but important examples such as this which show why education is such a vital requirement in developing countries.

I have more than 30 years of experience in the industry and I draw on this to devise training programmes such as the ones I gave on behalf of Transaid. This training, which was based on the programme delivered to drivers within Wincanton outlined the importance of health and safety procedures and was delivered to more than 20 trainers at the Zambia’s Industrial Training Centre Trust. The aim of the training was to assist in creating a driver training programme which can be rolled out to educate additional drivers in the country.

My short time in Zambia has reminded me of the importance and joy of training drivers, especially if these skills could help them avoid an accident in the future. Transaid are at the forefront of improving driving standards in Africa and it’s been my pleasure to help them.

For more information on Transaid please see www.transaid.org