APC celebrates first female driver

Ann Male at APC

The APC delivery network has celebrated its first female driver to pass her HGV driving exam.

Ann Male, who joined the business in January 2020 as a warehouse operative, passed her Class 1 HGV test and will transfer to the APC’s transport department, where she will become the APC’s first employed female HGV driver.

The APC said since joining the business, Male has progressed through the company; being offered the role of warehouse trainee supervisor nine months after she joined the business, before being promoted to warehouse supervisor in March 2022.

When the business advertised its ‘warehouse to wheels’ scheme in August 2021, she applied for the course and passed within six months of starting on the course.

Jonathan Smith, chief executive at the APC, said: “Ann is a fantastic example of how hard work and dedication can put someone on a wonderful career path.

“Employees like Ann are the future of our business and I really hope her journey will inspire others to build a rewarding career in logistics.

“In the past year we have responded to industry-wide issues of recruiting HGV drivers, implementing our ‘warehouse to wheels’ scheme, to attract and train a new generation of drivers.

“Since launching the scheme we’ve been encouraged by the unprecedented levels of interest seen within the business, with 30% under the age of 30, and 12% female, indicating that the scheme is developing a more diverse pool of HGV drivers.”

Latest data from the APC shows that the representation of women in its workforce has increased four years running - from 23% in 2018, 24% in 2019, 26% in 2020 and 27% in 2021 - with many teams and management roles seeing an increase in female employees.

Within the executive team, the APC has a 50% female representation, whilst 55% of positions are held by women in the Day Operations team.

19% of women within the business also hold a supervisory role or management position, with 32% of female workers accomplishing more than five years’ service in the business, and 7% achieving over 10 years’ service.

The APC said it has continued to review its processes and practices to ensure flexible working is supported and promoted, whilst investing in learning and talent initiatives to support career development across its workforce.

Corina Forman, HR director at the APC, said: “At the APC we look to provide long-term career prospects for people, providing training and upskilling opportunities to not only ensure staff continue to feel recognised for all their efforts and maintain a sense of job security, but also to help grow the next generation of leaders.

“We’ve been delighted by the sheer determination and aptitude to learn that so many of our female colleagues have shown in the last couple of years - 40% of colleagues completing an apprenticeship qualification are female, and 13 female colleagues have, or are completing, a professional qualification, supported by the business.”

Data by Women in Transport show that 1% of the UK’s HGV drivers are women, and women still only accounting for 20% of the workforce across the UK logistics industry.

At the start of 2022, Swift Despatch, part of the APC delivery network, took delivery of the the first four electric vans on its fleet.

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