I joined Thomas Ridley 5 years ago as a van driver. For the last 4-years I have been lucky enough to earn a living as a Class 2 driver for Thomas Ridley thanks to the ‘Warehouse to Wheels’ training programme.

What did you do before?

Joiner for 30-years and then a Sky Engineer, fancied a career change and came to Thomas Ridley as a van driver.

How did you find out about the Warehouse to Wheels program?

I wasn’t aware of the Warehouse to Wheels program until I asked my line manager about getting my HGV license. It was then that I was made aware of the program and after 1 year I was put through the training and then offered a job as a LGV driver.

How was the process?

Really easy there is a defined path where you work in your day job and get the time off to do the training.

What do you like about working at Thomas Ridley?

It’s a family run company and its that culture that makes me feel valued as an employee. We have regular meet-ups where the company lets us know the future plans. The employee benefits of private medical, staff discounts and company bonus are really helpful. The company has really open channels of communication meaning that I am able to talk directly to anybody in the business, this really helps to give the best possible service to the customer.

What do you love about your job?

After 30 years working indoors as a joiner I really like being out and about everyday. The job keeps you fit and I feel like my own boss. Being a driver at Thomas Ridley means no overnight stays so I am home every night. Job stability is important to me and this license means that I have transferable skills and a career for life. Also food delivery into schools and care homes is important and I like that I am making a real difference to people’s lives. Driving a lorry through estates or country lanes can be challenging but I like to be challenged and it’s great meeting our customers.

Would you recommend the ‘Warehouse to Wheels’ programme to your friends and family?

Absolutely, especially to people just coming out of education. There is plenty of opportunities to progress your career at the distribution centre in Bury-St-Edmunds, but if after 2-years you decide that a career as a driver is for you then Thomas Ridley will happily put you through the program. I look forward to meeting you.

Barry