The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Fleetmaster O S S is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Fleetmaster O S S
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
34 | FLEETMASTER
Director and Founder
Jamie, John and Nick Boocock receiving
the BRAKE road safety award
Fleetmaster were established in 2000 and became part of
the SWS Group four years ago. They provide professional
support to fleet operators by assisting them in meeting
their legal and moral obligations. They deliver tailored training
programmes, which primarily focus on assisting their clients
in remaining compliant and ensuring the safe and efficient
operation of their vehicles. Each year, they deliver in excess of
17,000 training courses. Founder John Boocock explains the
different types of courses that they deliver and the need for the
industry to attract more recruits.
Our business model is centred on close working relationships among the employer,
the workforce and our company, delivering outcomes-based results. Our success is
reflected in a decrease in crashes and a reduced environmental impact.
We have a duty of care to ensure the safety of others, and we regularly share
best practice to ensure that all drivers may benefit. Our expertise in reducing
fuel consumption by modifying driver behaviour has been acknowledged by the
Department for Transport in its safe and fuel-efficient driving best practice publication.
Our proven track record of successful driver training has allowed us to work
with many of the UK’s most forward-thinking companies. Our provision includes
specialist accredited courses on electric vehicles and interactive road safety
workshops in partnership with large fleet operators.
We created a young driver academy for a large energy provider to support
inexperienced drivers. Telematics were used to monitor behaviour, allowing details
»Director and Founder:
»Established in 2000
»Based in Ossett, West
»Services: Training courses for
the haulage industry
»No. of employees:
Approximately 16,000 in the
»No. of clients: Over 100
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
of the before and after pictures to
be produced, which were used to
tailor future learning. The results of
this initiative have been staggering.
After 1,000 young drivers completed
the course, the energy provider
benefitted from a 44.4 per cent drop
in the number of insurance claims
and a 14 per cent improvement in
fuel economy, which has reduced
operational costs and reflected
positively on the brand.
We provide employers with a
dedicated team of accredited training
experts who work towards developing
a safe, committed workforce that
reflect the employer’s brand. We have
grown organically and now provide
89 separate industry-leading transport
and logistics courses. By leveraging our
experience and expertise in partnership
with our clients, we drive profitability
and competitiveness through training
drivers and developing systems that
In the past three years, as a direct
result of our training provision, the
at-fault incident rate of a client’s
13,000-driver fleet has reduced by
33 per cent. Safer and more efficient
driving behaviour has generated
significant cost savings.
Changing the behaviour of
Our approach to driver training is
focused on fundamentally changing
the behaviour of the delegate and
developing their skills. Working
together with employers, we embed
safety-focused behavioural changes in
each course to ensure that learning is
transferred immediately to operational
delivery. This has a significant
impact on all behavioural aspects of
Objectives will differ depending
upon the type of course. For licence
acquisition and advanced driving
courses, where there is a defined
outcome of either a licence or
certification to be met, the objective
will always be passing the course.
Courses such as those on fleet
induction or fleet upgrades will have
objectives defined through working
with employers, in addition to those
we have available from our list of 89
products and services.
Planned and unplanned
Planned courses utilise group teaching
and one-on-one elements with
registered advanced or approved driving
instructors. The balance between group
and individual training will depend
on the needs of the course and the
employer’s specification and is always
defined depending on achieving the
best outcomes under DVSA standards.
Courses are a mix of classroom-based
delivery and in-cab training. Weighting
will depend on the type of course.
Typically, this will be split 40 per
cent in cab and 60 per cent in class.
apprentice drivers to
help address the LGV
driver shortage in the
a 44.4 per cent
drop in the
and a 14 per
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | FLEETMASTER
Coursesvary considerably in length,
with a typical induction course lasting
six hours, including breaks.
Unplanned courses are normally
provided reactively because of driver
behaviour or in response to an
incident. I, supported by my course
writing team, create objectives for
each course based on the behaviour
that needs to be addressed.
As the company charges per hour for
all its courses, costs are kept down, as
only the training is charged for, not the
We have a network of advanced driving
instructors who cover the whole of the
UK, including the Scottish Highlands
and Islands and Northern and Southern
Ireland, known as SHINSI. This ensures
the same high levels of service across
the contracted geography, irrespective
A regional approach to delivery
of service is adopted, with the UK
split into 11 distinct regions divided
by postcode. Each is allocated a
senior instructor to lead the area,
supported by a cohort of instructors.
Each postcode sector has instructors
assigned to it who can access locations
within a maximum of two hours’ travel
time. Therefore, we have instructors
with the correct qualifications and
availability everywhere in the UK. In
the past year, we have delivered 2,714
courses in the SHINSI area.
We have won prestigious national
awards, including National Motor
Transport Training Awards, Energy
Saving Trust Awards and several
BRAKE Fleet Safety Awards,
including for partnership, safety and
e-learning innovation. In addition,
we are accredited with all the main
UK awarding bodies to ensure
that our services are of the highest
standards, with supporting audits to
prove that we pass every time with
The need to stimulate
One of the main challenges we face
is the shortage of skilled workers
and drivers. It is estimated that the
industry is currently 40,000-60,000
drivers short, and this is compounded
by fewer people entering the industry.
Historically, it was far easier to
become a driver, but now there are
significant additional costs to gaining
a licence. Increased regulation has also
meant that drivers must pass more
compulsory training. Many companies
are struggling with this, and half of
many companies’ workforces are
over the age of 50. Before drivers can
become qualified, they must attain
three different licences. Legislation can
often be beneficial, but it can also be a
barrier to recruitment. The introduction
of the apprenticeship levy has also had
mixed results in the sector. Although it
has worked well in some areas, smaller
operators are struggling. This mainly
centres on the fact that 20 per cent of
working hours must be spent learning
off the job.
Action must be taken to stimulate
recruitment. I fear, however, that it will
only be when delivery systems break
down due to a lack of recruits that
anything concrete will be done. It is
essential that more people are attracted
to the industry before thishappens.
In the past
three years, as
a direct result
of our training
of a client’s
The Young Driver
Academy team at a
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.