Hard work and a burning desire to succeed have earned former warehouse clerk Alexis Whitby her dream job – behind the wheel of an HGV.
Alexis joined NFT a year ago, but the 50-year-old quickly decided she wanted a change from her backroom administration role.
Encouraged by transport and warehouse site lead Bob McLarty, she enrolled on the company’s Warehouse to Wheels programme, which enables existing staff members to undertake HGV training and progress to join the driver team.
Having already achieved a Class 2 licence, Alexis was put through rigorous training in order to step up to Class 1. Despite failing her test at the first attempt, she refused to give up, and last month was rewarded with her qualification and a job as a driver at NFT’s St Albans depot.
She said: “I have always been fascinated by driving, and when I first joined NFT I was able to see at first-hand what how the HGV drivers operated. I decided it was something I really wanted to do, and people who know me know that I am a very determined person once I make up my mind to do something!
“The Warehouse to Wheels programme has been invaluable – and without it I doubt I would have achieved my ambition. But the support of Bob and all the other drivers has been fantastic. They have encouraged me all the way.”
The programme has been adopted by an increasing number of UK haulage firms in recent years and is seen as a way of tackling the industry-wide problem of driver shortages.
Bob McLarty said: “Alexis is a force of nature, and nothing was going to stop her getting her licence. We’re all delighted at what she’s achieved and hopefully she will serve as a great example to others who may want a change of career.”