ELB Partners takes on first apprentice

An experienced former tour guide has become ELB Partners’ first trainee under its new driver apprenticeship scheme, an initiative to help reduce the UK’s crippling driver shortage.

The Wimbledon-based business, which secured FORS Gold accreditation for a record seventh time this year, is putting 45-year-old Philip Bennett through its 12-month programme in response to the driver crisis, which has contributed to vital raw material shortages and empty supermarket shelves.

ELB, part of the Pallet-Track network, is joining fellow network member Translink Express Logistics in funding its own programme to take drivers such as Philip through his Class 1 and 2 HGV driver training and CPC over the next 12 months.

Philip, who lost his job when Covid-19 shut down the tour guide sector, said: “I have always loved driving and physical work. I am really enjoying the variety of van deliveries around central London, an area I know well from my days driving coaches.”

“I’ve always wanted to drive larger lorries and it’s great that a company like ELB is now putting me through the necessary training. You never stop learning and this will be another string to my bow, as well as provide me with more great experience,” added Philip, who has driven every passenger vehicle from vintage buses to modern double-deckers in a career spanning 25 years.

Dan Philpot, commercial director at ELB, said: “The situation has become very serious for many businesses, which is why we have decided to invest in our own apprenticeship scheme.

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