Surefreight Ltd is a multi-million pound logistics company. In business for over 34 years the company focuses on cross channel distributions, road haulage, customs, groupage (goods shipped in containers with other shipments to save businesses money) and warehousing. Operating from the Head Office Newry in Northern Ireland, the business has bases across the UK mainly in the locations of Cardiff, Heysham and Bradford.

With multiple lorries and trailers on the road, the business has a real need for Heavy Goods Vehicles apprenticeships. Each lorry must be serviced every 6 weeks and trailers every 8 weeks. So, there is high demand for apprentices in the area, meaning plenty of job opportunities!

Amongst the cost-of-living crises the business has big plans for growth. Plans for 10% growth by helping people save money means this business is continuously on the lookout for new opportunities. The business is not afraid of a challenge either. Martin McGoldrick, Commercial Director at Surefreight Ltd counts one of the business’ greatest accomplishments was overcoming Brexit challenges and forming a customs team at the last minute.

Martin commented; “We originally had an external organisation arranged to manage our customs however this fell through in the December prior to Brexit so the whole team worked tirelessly to set up a department to ensure a smooth transition for our customers.”

With ambitious growth plans comes big responsibilities which the business is keen to be part of. Martin further commented; “Every business has a responsibility to bring on the next generation of workers. Without training up new generations, work will grind to a halt. With a large fleet requiring constant checks and servicing, we are presently seeking four new Heavy Goods Vehicle apprentices.”

Kevina Burns, a current Level 3 Heavy Vehicle Maintenance & Repair Principles apprentice at Southern Regional College’s Greenbank campus in Newry has always had an interest in lorries and is keen to be a lorry driver in the future. Kevina chose to undertake the Heavy Vehicle apprenticeship as “It’s important to know the basics in lorry repairs as there is no point sitting on the side of the road when you breakdown not knowing what to do.”

Skills learnt to date on the apprenticeship include braking systems, public service vehicles and engine rebuilds which is physically demanding. Kevina is an unexpected sight in the lorry yard, but a very welcome addition and an employee Surefreight is keen to retain. Business owner Vincent Waddell is keen to find more apprentices like Kevina as she has shown a real interest and commitment to the job. Surefreight is eager to recruit and retain more Heavy Goods Vehicle apprentices.

Kevina’s advice for anyone considering an HGV apprenticeship is: “Take it seriously and don’t mess around. The course is tough, but any new course is tough as you don’t know what you are getting into. You just need to put your head down, work hard and you will get through it. In the end, it comes down to how bad you want it.”

For information on Heavy Goods Vehicle apprenticeships at Southern Regional College, click here.