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Metal recycler tackles the shortfall in LGV drivers

11 March 2019

One of the world’s leading metal recycling companies, EMR, has seen its first success following the launch of its driver apprenticeship scheme.

Driven by the need to tackle driver shortage in the metal recycling and logistics industries, EMR partnered with a training provider to help deliver their driver apprenticeship scheme and driver training.

EMR has now seen its first successful candidate and first female driver apprentice, 20-year-old Sian Smith, complete the practical training. Sian was one of many applicants who applied for the apprenticeship when EMR’s apprenticeship programme was launched last year.

Simon Wood, EMR Logistics Director said: “We launched the apprenticeship programme due to the shortage of drivers in our industry. This is the first driver apprenticeship programme in our industry and we are already seeing the success from our first set of candidates.

“The commercial driving industry is clearly one dominated by men and there is no reason why it has to be that way, as men and women are equally capable when it comes to driving LGVs.  We hope that this apprenticeship scheme and our success so far will bring more women into this industry.”

Sian’s EMR journey has gone from strength to strength which culminated in her passing her practical driving test within six months. Commenting on her achievements Sian said: “Once I passed my test it felt amazing but it still doesn’t seem real. From the start of my apprenticeship, everyone has been friendly and welcoming. The help and support I have received from the other drivers has been amazing. I would like to say a big thank you to all my trainers who helped me through the programme and who supported me with words of confidence all the time.”

Sian now joins 70 EMR drivers based in the Midlands. John Bate, EMR Midlands Transport Manager said: “I am immensely proud of what Sian achieved in such a short time during her apprenticeship with EMR. I am more than confident that Sian will be a great asset to the company with her bright personality and natural driving skills - the first of many apprentice drivers.”

“When someone thinks of a LGV driver they would typically imagine a middle aged man, I am glad that this trend is changing as more and more women are joining the industry.”

“I would strongly recommend being a driver,” Sian added.  “There’s just a great buzz about being on the road in a big vehicle and also you get to go out and see the world. I enjoy that every day is different. It’s nice knowing that by working for EMR what I have delivered is saving our planet. I am happy to say that each day I enjoy every moment on my job.”

Developed from a single business in Rochdale, EMR has over 170 operational sites worldwide and employs over 4,000 people. EMR recycles around 10 million tonnes of metal each year, which saves over 10 million tonnes of CO2 every year, compared to using virgin materials.   

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