William Rayner, 18, of Locks Heath has been given a shot by Southampton-based Meachers Global Logistics – even though most companies won’t employ drivers until they are at least 21 years old.
But the Barton Peveril Sixth Form College student is now undertaking work at Southampton docks thanks to Meachers’ comprehensive new drivers’ scheme.
William said: ‘Meachers gave me a great opportunity to learn HGV driving skills much earlier than most other companies. I’ve really enjoyed my training, it’s covered so much and I’ve had great support from all the team who couldn’t have been more helpful.
‘Every day has been different, I’ve met new people and learned so much already. I’m looking forward to going out on the road again as soon as possible and I know I have the support if I need it. I can also train further on courses with Meachers - it’s very exciting.’
It comes as Meachers has been taking part in careers events across the area, attending Eastleigh College earlier in the month to speak with students about career routes and skills training within the logistics industry, according to general manager Bob Sturt.
The manager said: ‘William started work with us in January and in less than a month he has made great progress and done extremely well. He has shown great aptitude for driving our lorries and has applied himself to learning all aspects of the job.
‘Meachers has a strong Southampton heritage and we are proud of our family ethos, all working together as part of a strong team.
‘We are pleased to help develop the skills of the next generation of drivers and William is showing great promise on his career path. It’s key to our success at Meachers.’
Last year The News launched a successful campaign to tackle young unemployment in Portsmouth, smashing a target of 100 apprentice roles filled in 100 days with more than 250 young people finding employment.