They say there is no such thing as a job for life - but this Suffolk-based apprenticeship could ensure you are never out of work

Luke King receives Apprentice of the year award 2015 from Nick Saker

Luke King receives Apprentice of the year award 2015 from Nick Saker - Credit: Archant

Nationally there is a shortage of HGV drivers and the expense of obtaining a licence puts many potential recruits off - unless they can find someone willing to put them through the training.

Richard Dolan of Greens Removals

Richard Dolan of Greens Removals - Credit: Archant

That is exactly what Richard Dolan, managing director of Greens Removals, based in Stowmarket, is doing.

He is recruiting two LGV/HGV apprentices to join his multi-skilled team of 26, and all he asks is that applicants have a full, clean driving licence and a sunny disposition.

“We have 10 apprentices working for us,” he said. “I don’t know what we would do without them.

“Our industry is unique in that we need someone who is not just an HGV driver, but also a careful packer and someone who can unload.”

And with such a diverse role, apprenticeships are an ideal way to recruit - they bring in new people and then train them in all aspects of the job.

“We originally thought we would just get young people applying,” said Mr Dolan. “But we have a mix of ages, we have one apprentice who is 28.

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“The only requirement is that you have full, clean driving licence, so you need to be at least 17.”

He added: “I also need someone who can smile in difficult times and laugh in the good times.

“No-one wants a miserable removals man, it can be a stressful time moving house.”

The company works with a college in Hertfordshire which is accredited by the British Association of Removers and recruits work through a level two qualification covering packing everything from china to fine art, as well as the driving element.

“Our apprentices will gain a fork lift licence and they will take a course in all of the vehicles we have, right up to Class 1, which allows them to drive an articulated lorry.

“That is your golden ticket, how you use that ticket is down to you - and it will always be yours unless you lose it for driving offences.

“Nationally there is an HGV driver shortage so once you have that licence you will have a job for life. You could drive local freight from the Port of Felixstowe, or you could do international driving where you are away for 10 days at a time. It is a qualification that travels so you could work abroad.

“But what we hope is that once we have put people through the apprenticeship they will come and work for us full time. We have had people who we have offered permanent jobs to even before they have completed their apprenticeship.”

Apprentices are paid £3.30 an hour, based on a 40-hour week for the first year, with the second year rate increasing depending on age and performance.

For more details on the vacancy, see hereLooking for a new job but not sure if removals is for you? See hundreds of local vacancies here