Published: 09 January 2019
A firm offering secure storage containers have pushed for more diversity in their job roles, hiring a female lorry driver who is now one of 3,000 in the country. Mobile Mini, operating in over 15 branches around the UK as well as headquarters in Stockton, have also launched a Driver Development Programme.
When she got the job, Rachel Woodward was able to develop her skills on the road even further, receiving all required training from the firm. Who also provided training for lifting operations and crane vehicles if the need should arise.
Speaking about her role, Rachel said: “I’d not planned on becoming a driver for a living, but I love the freedom of getting out and meeting people.
“I knew I could never have a job where I was in an office all day, and I don’t like being tied to one place, so this is the ideal job for me.”
Delivering storage containers all across the UK from the East Midlands branch of Mobile Mini’s, Rachel expressed the great experiences she’s had in her role and how the customers are not how she expected them to be when she first started her role.
She mentioned: “People are either incredibly helpful, more so than they would be with a male driver, or they just stand back and watch. I’ll often ring customers to let them know I’m on my way and they’ll assume I’m the office staff, asking me to pass a message on for ‘him’.
Rachel added: “It doesn’t bother me, I realise women drivers are still pretty unusual – it’s still seen as a man’s job. The majority of people I deal with are men, and it’s still rare to see women on a building site.”
As well as offering lifting operations training to qualified lorry drivers, Mobile Mini also has a unique Driver Development Programme which the firm is hoping will support efforts to get more HGV drivers on the road while attempting to halt the lorry driver shortage.
Director of HR at Mobile Mini, Denise Arnold spoke on the programme: “We created the Driver Development Programme in direct response to challenges which we and other companies were experiencing in recruiting talented drivers across the UK.
“Our programme enables us to develop our own talented people and provide them with a great opportunity to grow, receive some fantastic training and to really develop their career, while helping to stem a recruitment crisis within the industry.
“Rachel is a perfect example of how our driving training benefits both the company and our employees and we’re delighted to see her flourish in her new career.”
The firm are one of many who are aware of the lack of interest in the role of a HGV driver with young people. To appeal to a future generation of drivers, many projects are taking place such as school visits and organised events for families such as Trucksays.co.uk giving kids the opportunity to drive a truck for themselves!
The FTA and RHA recently completed research that found over 40,000 vacancies were available for young people within the haulage industry.