An industrial equipment company says it has received 2,500 applicants for just ten HGV apprenticeships roles.
Nationwide Platforms is trying to recruit for the roles which are spread across six of its sites in Bristol, Leicester, London, Walsall, Warrington and Wellingborough.
The company said that, once appointed, the cohort of ten could likely be increased to 45 over the coming months as the business tries to bolster its driver workforce for the future.
As well as becoming qualified drivers, the apprentices will learn how to load, unload and operate the company’s powered access machines that it delivers to clients over a 12-month programme.
The news comes as the country continues to battle in the face of a shortage of lorry drivers caused by a backlog of tests not being conducted during the lockdown and foreign drivers returning to the EU post-Brexit.
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Nationwide Platforms, which is headquartered in Lutterworth and employs 1,150 people across 32 UK depots, specialises in the hire of equipment such as cherry pickers and other types of platforms.
It also carries out health and safety training for those operating at height in the workplace.
Head of haulage James Clarke said: “For decades and for a number of reasons, there has been a shortage of drivers in the industry but it has only now come to a head with the impact of the pandemic and Brexit making things even more acute.
“We have always invested heavily in apprentices across the company and believe this is the best way to secure talent for the future but this is the first time we have appealed for this many HGV apprentices at once and we have been overwhelmed by the response.”