Lockerbie Based TP Niven – A Driving Force Behind Modern Apprenticeships

The Lockerbie-based haulage firm is a strong advocate of Work-based Learning, with six Modern Apprentices currently on the books.

Haulage company TP Niven is developing a pipeline of local talent, thanks to Modern Apprenticeships.

The Lockerbie-based firm has an established history of giving local people an opportunity, with six Modern Apprentices currently on the books.

General Manager Gordon Beswick takes pride in TP Niven’s Work-based Learning philosophy and believes Modern Apprenticeships are mutually beneficial.

He said: “Modern Apprenticeships are the best way to ensure succession in our business. As people progress elsewhere in their career, or retire, we feel it’s important that we have a progression pathway in place.
“TP Niven is a third-generation family business and we all began from the grassroots. We remember starting our careers and all you wanted was a chance. Our aim is to develop local people through into good, long-standing employees.
“Modern Apprenticeships allow TP Niven to tell a story. We give people opportunities and we support them through their career. What better way to ensure a pipeline of talent than by growing your own workers?”

TP Niven also utilise Skills Development Scotland’s Individual Training Accounts (ITA) to provide further support to Dumfries and Galloway’s young people.

The company employs local 16 and 17-year-olds who don’t have a driving licence and deploy them in the warehouses and yards. Using their ITA funding, they then secure a forklift licence and are supported as they work towards their driving licence.

Once they turn 18, TP Niven offer them Modern Apprenticeships where they can gain their HGV qualification and continue to learn about the business. With two years of experience under their belts, the company gains readymade employees.

Gordon explained: “Some of our best and most reliable workers are ones who we trained and developed through Modern Apprenticeships. You can nurture employees according to your own business values and it’s like having a blank canvas. You get out what you put in.
“Our Modern Apprentices start by driving vans, which they can operate using a driving licence. They then progress to a Class 2 vehicle and so on. It’s a constant stepping-stone until they are capable of driving Class One HGVs.”

TP Niven has retained its apprentices throughout the pandemic and is committed to providing more Modern Apprenticeships, having reaped the benefits of working with local talent.

Gordon is a strong advocate of Work-based Learning and would urge all businesses to consider taking on Modern Apprentices.

He added: “I’d encourage any firm to recruit Modern Apprentices. You’re giving people an opportunity that we would have loved to have earlier in our careers.
“Our apprentices are at a crucial part of their career, so we try to support them as best as we can.”

Gordon also highlighted the support TP Niven receives from learning provider, Nithcree Training, to make sure its apprentices continue to achieve and progress, especially during the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “It’s great to see our Modern Apprentices progress and we hope to instil in them values that they’ll carry for life.”

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