Ann Male, who joined the business in January 2020 as a warehouse operative, has successfully passed her Class 1 HGV test and this month will transfer to The APC’s transport department at Cannock, where she will become The APC’s first employed female HGV driver.
Since joining the business, Ann, with the support of The APC, has worked hard to progress through the company; being offered the role of warehouse trainee supervisor just 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, Ann applied for the course - and through her determination, gained the necessary practical, technical and legal knowledge needed to successfully pass 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 per cent under the age of 30, and 12 per cent female, indicating that the scheme is developing a more diverse pool of HGV drivers.”
With reports showing that just one per cent of the UK’s HGV drivers are women, and with women still only accounting for 20 per cent of the workforce across the UK logistics industry, The APC remains committed to investing in career opportunities for women.
Across the business The APC has continued to review its processes and practices to ensure flexible working is well supported and promoted, whilst investing heavily in learning and talent initiatives to support career development across its workforce.
Latest data from the business shows that the representation of women in its workforce has increased four years running - from 23 per cent in 2018, 24 per cent in 2019, 26 per cent in 2020 and 27 per cent in 2021 – with many teams and management roles seeing a sharp increase in female employees. Within the executive team, The APC has a 50 per cent female representation, whilst in the Day Operations team 55 per cent of positions are held by women. 19 per cent of women within the business also hold a supervisory role or management position, with 32 per cent of female workers also proudly accomplishing over five years’ service in the business, and seven per cent achieving over 10 years’ service.
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 per cent of colleagues completing an apprenticeship qualification are female, and 13 female colleagues have, or are completing, a professional qualification, supported by the business.”
Mr Smith added: “Now more than ever, we need ambitious people across the country to answer the call to join the evolving logistics sector, taking advantage of the fantastic training and lifelong career opportunities the industry can offer. The world is still changing and our business is building for the times. With that comes so much opportunity for people to forge a successful and rewarding career in logistics.”