Posted by Tom Pearce on February 7, 2023 under Careers Advice
Our HGV Driving Academies for John Lewis and Waitrose offer the road to success for your driving career. The support and guidance you receive from our Driving Instructors and the wider team will see you go from being able to drive a normal B-category vehicle right through to your C+E Articulated license. 🚛
Our academies will aim to get you all of the required qualifications in 13-weeks, much quick than it can take if you go to learn on your own. Through this fast-paced programme, you’ll be allocated a mentor and accompany one of our experienced Drivers initially before you get behind the wheel yourself. You’ll receive all of the practical (driving) training and complete the appropriate theory tests along the way, but it really won’t be long before you’re behind the wheel. The programme is suited to anyone that wants to learn quickly.
Locations these academies are available in: Aylesford, Kent, Bracknell, Berkshire, Magna Park Campus, Milton Keynes.
Our experienced Driving Instructors will be your ultimate support through the programme. We recently caught up with Ross and Lee to find out more about the journey of their own driving careers…
“Hi, I’m Ross, a Driver Training Instructor at our Waitrose & Partners Regional Distribution Centre (RDC) in Bracknell, Berkshire.
I started working in the Partnership at just 16-years old as a Sales Assistant in John Lewis Reading, working on the Menswear Department on Saturdays. After a short while as a temporary Partner, I was made permanent and started reaping the rewards and benefits that the Partnership has to offer. The Partnership were really accommodating towards me in allowing me to be flexible with my working hours around any important school or college work, allowing me to stay working for John Lewis all the way through education. During my time at John Lewis my confidence really grew in a customer facing role and I could really see how my contribution helped towards customer satisfaction, as well as the Partnership success. Service with a smile was always really easy.
After I left college I applied for a position as a Dot Com Deliver Driver (our smaller fleet of 3.5t B-Cat vehicles) in my nearby Waitrose where I was lucky enough to be accepted. Working here allowed me to take my Partnership career to another level, representing such a prestigious brand on the open road and taking excellent customer service to our customer’s doors. It was during my time here where I met a gentlemen who was instrumental in my next move within my journey. Andy, a Transport First Line Manager at the Waitrose RDC. I was delivering Andy’s shopping one day when he got chatting and he told me where he worked, I said I was interested in HGV driving and he recommended spending a day or two with a driver to see if I enjoyed my experience. After this was arranged, I made my way to Bracknell Transport where I could see the size and importance of the operation. I was shocked how big the site was! I really enjoyed my three nights out with a driver and it gave me the inspiration to pursue a career in HGV driving.
Once I passed my C+E test to become an LGV1 Driver, I then applied to become a driver at the RDC and was accepted! Since joining as a driver in 2017 I have been able to progress into many different roles which I have absolutely loved. These roles include, a Transport Operator, a Transport First Line Manager and now a Driver Training Instructor. As a Driver Training Instructor I have assisted in the set up of the Waitrose Driving Academy and have helped many existing, and new Partners, to become LGV1 Drivers for Waitrose.
I would recommend the Partnership as a great place to work and cannot see myself working anywhere else. The opportunity for career progression and to really be yourself, is second to none and I love the family feel of the business. If you are interested in becoming an Driver through the HGV Driving Academy, please feel free to contact me on my email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be more than happy to provide any details, or answers to queries that you may have.”
“Hi I’m Lee. Having completed 9-years in the Army I decided to head out on a civilian career path in heavy haulage and went onto WHSmiths carrying out store deliveries in the greater London area.
I was then selected as the driver representative and went onto a driver training course with J Coates HGV services. After the course I was offered a job as a driver training instructor and went onto complete 4-years service with them teaching John Lewis Customer Delivery Hub drivers (our small C1 fleet of vehicles) and various other high profile companies throughout the years.
I had always had a very professional and welcoming working environment when training the John Lewis drivers so when I heard they were starting their own training academy, I knew I had the personality and skill set to help drive the partnership forward and train their HGV drivers to reach their full potential.
During the last 12-months the academy has exceeded expectations, reaching examiner status through the DVSA. For me personally, I have never been happier in my job role and being apart of the John Lewis family.”
If you’re interested in our HGV Driver Academy, search ‘Academy’ in the jobs search box on our homepage to apply for current opportunities or register for job alerts. If you’d like to learn more about working in Distribution and Supply chain, click here for John Lewis and here for Waitrose to find out more.