Walkers nurtures young talent following apprentice appointments

A leading UK transport and third-party logistics specialist is nurturing young talent.Walkers Transport, a member of Palletways, Europe’s largest and fastest growing express palletised freight network, has appointed two apprentices at its Manchester-based depot.

Sophie Bleakley (19) from Rochdale and Erica Burns (20) from Littleborough join Walkers Transport from Rochdale Training. Sophie is part of Walkers’ Customer Service department and has been studying towards a Level 3 in Customer Services. Having quickly excelled in her role, Sophie hopes to continue developing her skills and aims to progress into service management. Erica is currently based in the Transport department and has been studying towards a Level 3 in Business Administration. With a passion for people, Erica plans to move into Customer Services and hopes to expand her commercial outlook to pursue a future career in business management.

Georgina Farrell, Rochdale Training’s Trainer/Assessor, said: “Sophie and Erica have maintained a positive attitude to their learning, engaging positively with monthly visits, assessments and independent learning. It has been a pleasure to work with both of them to support them with their qualification and see them develop in confidence. I have no doubt that they will continue to thrive at Walkers on a personal and professional level.”

Amy Russell, Walkers’ group HR manager, added: “Rochdale Training approached us to present the benefits of apprentices in growing businesses and inform us of the available funding through government schemes. Our relationship with their team has gone from strength to strength. Mark and the trainers are engaged with our growth plans and understand our business. The training they deliver supports our vision to develop our employees and create opportunities for them to progress on our exciting journey of growth.

“We’ll most certainly look to repeat the success we’ve had with Sophie and Erica. Developing and growing aspirational team members is at the heart of what Walkers people strategy is all about. We’re now looking to take this to the next level and are planning the appointment of further apprentices into our recruitment plan. Following a management buy-out in late 2017, Walkers has big ambitions and we aim to create opportunities in all areas of our business from Transport through to Sales.”

Walkers Transport is one of over 110 independent transport providers that are part of the Palletways UK network. They benefit from shared expertise and resources from within the group to deliver consignments of palletised freight to market faster and more cost effectively than ever before.   The Palletways Group comprises 400 depots and 17 hub operations, through which it provides collection and distribution services across 20 European countries, including the UK.

Rochdale Training look after over 2,000 Apprentices across the country. It has launched a new campaign to start 100 learners in 100 days to support residents to up skill and get qualified. The aim to create at least 100 new Apprenticeships in the next 100 days across Greater Manchester builds on the government’s commitment to deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020. Call 01706 631 or email mwhittaker@rochdaletraining.co.uk for more information.