Young people starting out in a career in transport are being offered a helping hand by leading pallet distributor Palletline.
A bespoke training scheme devised by Palletline has been purposefully designed to ensure new recruits are fully equipped with the knowledge and skills needed from day one on the shop floor.
In a clear demonstration of its passion towards nurturing young talent and helping recruits to explore their potential, the scheme is led by 25-year-old Health and Safety Co-ordinator Liam Pegg, who started with Palletline aged 17 and completed his own apprenticeship just five years ago.
Last year, Liam was tasked with revolutionising the scheme, taking into account his own experiences to benefit the new recruits. Working in partnership with Health & Safety Manager Ken Bell, the course was re-designed to meet the needs of individual apprentices to ensure they all achieve their potential.
Midlands-based Training Provider, Juniper Training are leading on the delivery of the apprenticeship scheme, which includes delivery of the Level 2 Supply Chain Warehouse Operative Apprenticeship Standard.
On completion all apprentices are required to complete an independent end point assessment (EPA) to demonstrate they have obtained the relevant knowledge, skills and behaviours to achieve competence in the sector.
Palletline has worked in partnership with Juniper Training for the past 2 years, overseeing delivery
Liam said: “Generally apprentices are sent off to college where they might be learning about things that aren’t relevant to them, then when they arrive back on the shop floor, they can’t necessarily apply everything they have learnt on their course because it’s not relevant to their own operation.
“But here we have a tailor-made apprenticeship which allows them to build their skills and experience while learning from inside the business.”
He added: “The apprenticeship also gives apprentices greater opportunity to understand which areas of the job they are good at and what brings them the most enjoyment. It’s a great way to bring out the best in them – which is demonstrated by last year’s intakes who have excelled since completing their course.”
The working day sees the apprentices arrive at 8am and leave at 4.30pm. This gives them rounded experience of how both the morning and afternoon shifts work and experience of different peak periods throughout the day.
As part of the course which comprises 374 hours of training, they learn all of the various processes within Palletline, including 38 health and safety modules, 20 operational and seven environmental. Modules can vary from accident investigation to correctly parking a forklift truck. Other wide-ranging modules include gatehouse security, laser thermometer training for Covid checks, and quality control.
They are also given fire marshal and first aid training and Palletline is looking to introduce training from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health.
Liam said: “Historically, our apprentices have been young males, within the 18 to 19 age bracket, but this year we’re really pleased to have attracted a range of young people to join our apprenticeship scheme; including two young women looking to kick start their careers in logistics and a 16-year-old unable to complete work experience through his school due to Covid.”
Liam said that although the course is designed to ensure the apprentices are employable anywhere, the key aim is to retain the home-grown talent within Palletline – even more so in recent months as the industry is affected by a shortage of permanent FLT drivers.
As the course starts Liam undertakes an individual learning needs analysis with each student – finding out their existing skills and their goals for the future. This in turn allows him to adapt the course as necessary.
He said: “When I look at last year’s apprentices, they enjoyed it so much they now work mainly in loading and are in the top five per cent of the loaders we have.
“This year’s intake are asking a lot of questions and even challenging their more experienced colleagues, which is what we want as it helps them as they progress.
“When I was an apprentice, I was always asking questions so I could learn. They put so much faith in me that I ran the security hut. It is the same throughout the company. The more our apprentices learn, the more they reap the rewards. Their future is in their hands.”
Natalie Weaver, Apprenticeship Employment Engagement Support/Coach at Juniper Training commented: “We are delighted to once again be supporting Palletline’s apprenticeship programme. We received a great response, and we are looking forward to yet another successful year.”
Established in 1983, Juniper Training support over 450 apprentices per year across a range of different sector areas.