Industry views | 21 September 2016
By Adrian Colman, CEO
Our drivers play a key role in delivering our vision as the most innovative, effective and respected logistics company in Britain. They are highly-skilled professionals, who display focus and determination every working day, which is why our Driver of the Year Awards ceremony is such a hotly contested event.
We host our annual Driver of the Year competition to determine the business’ top Heavy Goods Vehicle and fork lift truck drivers, as well as crowning the overall Newcomer Driver of the Year.
We want to ensure our drivers are the best in the business, which is why we invest in them. Our talent management schemes aim to nurture and reward our employees through different approaches. Through the Wincanton Academy we provide tailored learning for individuals at all levels and roles within the business, while in our Wellness campaign we focus on the health and wellbeing of our employees.
We put every effort into our drivers, ensuring their success and putting the spotlight on those who go above and beyond in events like Driver of the Year. However, we know that as a whole our industry is being stifled by the current driver shortage.
One of the biggest problem facing the logistics industry is the aging driver population, which is why we have an award to celebrate our new drivers and hopefully encourage more people to think about a career in logistics. Our experienced, older drivers are a key part of our make-up, but as they begin to retire we need to replace them with a flow of new talent. With a quarter of the 600,000 HGV-licensed drivers in the UK due to retire in the next decade, this becomes an ever more pressing concern.
Driving is a highly skilled, rewarding profession, as our drivers will tell you. However, it’s important to recognise that events such as our Driver of the Year Awards aren’t just about celebrating the work our drivers do for us, but for the wider UK economy. We work hard day-in day-out, whatever the weather, to keep British business moving.
This year the Driver of the Year event will take place on the 28th September, which comes shortly after the Road Haulage Association’s National Lorry Week taking place between the 19th and the 24th of September. This is an awareness week which will take the theme of ‘The Next Generation’. Hopefully efforts like this will get young people interested in a career in logistics and help shrink the shortfall gap.