December 4, 2019
I started mentoring Alex as soon as he entered our 18-month ‘Warehouse to Wheels’ apprenticeship programme. He also benefited from the extra support of a mentor within the distribution depot as he worked towards his driver qualifications.
When Alex first joined us, he was very quiet. It’s easy to forget just how daunting and complicated it can be when you’re suddenly confronted by a busy haulage and logistics operation.
The basics were simple; to instruct him in our exacting procedures, which ranged from health and safety, to booking stock in and out and product handling methods.
He gained his forklift truck licence and from there progressed to making one pallet deliveries
in one of our light vans – giving him a taste of life on the road but without the pressure of multi-drop deliveries.
Alex recently passed his Category C licence (HGV Class 2) with only one minor infringement, which was a fabulous achievement and is now progressing towards his Class C+E (HGV1) test early next year.
However, we haven’t just pushed him out onto the road.
Once a week he drives a lorry up to Dundee – with an experienced driver at his side – to gain
valuable practical experience. We will increase the frequency of days over the coming months as his confidence grows.
Although he will remain on the lighter 7.5-ton trucks for three to six months, he will eventually move onto 18-ton lorries permanently.
I truly believe Alex’s success can not only be put down to his hard work but also to the mentor system we have in place for all apprentices.
I was fortunate to be a little older when I took up my apprenticeship. I was a labourer on a building site for a while, but Moody’s was a completely different working environment.
I was focused on becoming an HGV driver but was eager to learn as much about the warehouse operation as possible because I knew this would give me a greater understanding of the business and make me a better driver.
Initially, I was a bit shell-shocked. There was such a lot to take on board but once I’d been through my induction, things began clicking into place.
I was never swamped with information and Paul was always on hand to explain things and encouraged me to ask any questions I might have, no matter how trivial.
However, it isn’t just Paul, but the entire warehouse team that has helped me progress.
Being given the task of making small deliveries was a real confidence booster, and meeting people is a part of the job I really enjoy.
If I did make a mistake, there was always someone to advise me how it could have been prevented.
It was such a fantastic feeling to pass my Category C test but even though it signals I am coming to the end of my apprenticeship, I know it’s just the start of a whole new level of learning.
Having a mentor helped me more easily understand the different aspects of the business and the methods of working. Most of all, it has made me feel part of a team.