College helps drive future of HGV industry

Students at Stoke on Trent College are set to play a key role in keeping Staffordshire’s distribution industry on the road, following the donation of a £15,000 Scania truck to the college’s heavy goods vehicle training department.

Stoke on Trent College is currently the only training provider in North Staffordshire training HGV technician apprentices. Students there were delighted when Scania GB Ltd donated the 45 tonne truck for students to carry out diagnostic assessments, repairs and maintenance, alongside their work on a previously acquired MAN tractor unit.

According to the Road Haulage Association, the road haulage industry is worth £74 billion to the UK economy and around 80% of all goods are transported by heavy commercial vehicles over 3.5 tonnes.

Stoke on Trent College Principal Denise Brown explains: “In Stoke and Staffordshire, the warehousing and logistics industry employs over 12,000 people. The distribution industry has seen a 13% growth in employment in recent years and is expected to continue to grow, so it is essential that we have a skilled workforce when it comes to maintaining and repairing heavy goods vehicles for the many distribution companies who operate in the area.

“Outside the haulage industry, emergency services vehicles such as ambulances, police vehicles and fire engines are also classed as commercial or heavy goods vehicles – and we are proud to work with Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to train their apprentices in HGV maintenance and repair, as well as companies such as Tarmac, Biffa Trucks, Longcliffe Quarries (Lafarge), Volvo Trucks (Hartshorne), HRVS Firow and SJ Bargh.”

She adds: “We place great importance on giving our students access to real industry facilities in order to provide the most realistic work environment and ensure they train with the latest equipment and technology. Stoke on Trent College students are in the unique position to be training on the same vehicles that they will be expected to work on during their final assessment with the IMI as they complete their apprenticeship. It’s an excellent opportunity for them.”

The College is already a regional awarding centre for the Institute for the Motor Industry (IMI), who arranged for the donation of the Scania truck.

Michelle Barrett, Business Development Manager at the IMI, said: “The IMI was delighted to receive a donation of trucks from Scania which we are then able to pass on to Stoke on Trent College, as an IMI Awarding centre. It was fabulous to watch the third-year apprentices practise their diagnostic skills in the workshop under the watchful of their expert tutor Julian Brown.

“This donation coincides with the launch of the new Heavy Vehicle Apprenticeship Standard which will help give apprentices a pragmatic start to a career in the heavy vehicle repair sector at Stoke on Trent College.”

To find out more about vehicle maintenance courses and HGV technician apprenticeships at Stoke on Trent College, contact our Business Services team on 01782 603603 or

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