21/05/2014 - Lucketts Training Academy Celebrates a Century
100th Trainee Driver graduates with flying colours
Lucketts Travel Group is celebrating the success of its own driver-training academy, with the 100th Trainee Driver graduating with flying colours.
45-year-old Marcus Byrne is the latest driver to join the ranks at Lucketts Travel Group. Until recently he was working as a delivery driver for a well-known supermarket. Now he's fully qualified as a private hire driver, able to work on important contracts with schools and corporate clients.
Lucketts Travel Group is the only coach operator in the South Coast of England with its own driver-training academy. It opened its doors in 2007 led by Group Training Manager, Ian Hills, at the family run firm's Fareham HQ with the aim of creating the most highly skilled workforce. In the first year just two drivers completed a full training course, last year the number was ten times that.
Paul Barringer, Group Sales and Marketing Director at Lucketts Travel Group, said "100 drivers fully trained in seven years is quite an achievement, especially since we have such a high driver retention rate. Our first Trainee Driver was Kevin Ferguson, and he is still working for Lucketts today. In fact more than 75% of drivers stay with the company, in no small part due to the continued training and development offered at our unique in house facility."
Training recruits from scratch is just one task of the driver-training academy. Teaching the latest methods of safe and economic driving techniques, ensuring all drivers exceed the standards required for the latest certification, is the mainstay of its work. In 2013 Lucketts announced it had delivered 264 individual courses in the previous 12 months alone.
Lucketts believes investment in training has helped to set it apart from other operators in an increasingly competitive market. Paul Barringer says, "A bespoke and tailored approach for the development of each driver ensures progression to the highest standard possible. The end result is an excellent customer experience and a company that is respected for its professional contribution to the coaching industry."
The company's highly trained drivers also help lower fuel bills. Increased investment in training has delivered reductions in running costs for the Lucketts Travel Group fleet of more than a hundred modern luxury coaches. The company has noted immediate financial benefits the moment a driver completes a course. Lower costs also help keep Lucketts Travel Group competitive, which means it continues to win high profile contracts. Because of this the company is currently looking to recruit more drivers with the promise, of course, of the most comprehensive training package.