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British company, Wincanton, focussed on talent development to counter skills shortage

The largest British logistics firm, Wincanton, has announced its Young Driver of the Year, following a gruelling competition at Silverstone race track.

It is the first time Wincanton has presented such an award, as part of its annual Driver of the Year Awards that have been running for 11 years, and comes at a time when there is a pressing need to recruit and retain the next generation of drivers.

The winner was Stafford-based, 31-year-old Michael Copeland, a Wincanton driver since 2013, who completed a series of highly complex and technical manoeuvres at the world-famous race track.

Michael said: “Carrying out intricate moves with a hefty LGV definitely requires concentration, as well as nerves of steel. Taking part has given me a huge boost in confidence. Truck driving is such a highly skilled job, it feels great to be recognised for the hard work I’ve put in.”

Adrian Colman, Wincanton’s CEO, said: “Our driving colleagues play a key role in our business, and their knowledge and professionalism deserves to be celebrated. We are focussed on developing people, and an event such as this encourages our drivers to push themselves and reach the highest possible standards.

“The event comes at a time when the number of qualified drivers available in the UK is falling, so for us training and hiring drivers is vital, especially as our customers rely on us to provide reliable and efficient delivery services. We have the best drivers on our books, and we intend to keep and grow that number.”

Wincanton is investing heavily in recruitment and training, with its Warehouse to Wheels programme focussing on training up pickers and packers to be fully qualified drivers. It also regularly holds events with schools and colleges to raise awareness of supply chain as a career and is a founding member of the NOVUS Trust logistics training scheme.

This year marks Wincanton’s 90th anniversary, with the business having been founded in 1925. Wincanton provides supply chain solutions across a wide range of sectors including retail, construction, defence and energy.

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