Surging demand fuels investment at HGV driver training firm

A South Yorkshire business which helps people gain HGV driving qualifications has invested in expansion.

Premier Fleet Solutions, trading as PFS Training, has seen demand for its specialist driving lessons and courses double every year for the last three years. The company has now established a new training suite at its Penistone base in response to this growth.

Directors Paul and Sarah Martin secured a Rural Business Grant, delivered by Barnsley Council through the Enterprising Barnsley programme, to cover half the cost of their new facility, complete with AV equipment and laptop workstations.

The Rural Business Grant is supported by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and the project is part-funded by the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) via its integrated Rural England Prosperity Fund (REPF).

The training suite will be used to deliver a portfolio of courses including driver training packages for individuals; workforce development courses for businesses; and CPC courses, which all HGV/PCV drivers must undergo every five years.

It will also be core to the company’s delivery of its new Government-funded HGV Skills Bootcamps for complete beginners looking to start driving careers.

Sarah Martin said: “We’ve grown dramatically in recent years and helped more people than ever before to gain an HGV licence last year.

“On top of that, we secured our biggest ever training contract with the Department for Education. It’s brilliant that we now have more space and better facilities to deliver our HGV Skills Bootcamps – and CPC courses; and to provide every individual with the learning support they need to pass their tests.”

PFS Training also gained grant support to invest in new business software systems which Sarah says has increased speed and efficiency in business admin ‘ten-fold’.

Paul Martin, who has more than 30 years’ experience in driver training, worked alone until partner Sarah joined him in the business two years ago.

The company now employs a team of five and has two sub-contracted trainers, with plans to recruit a third full time trainer this year.

Practical driver training is delivered in the company’s existing fleet of learner vehicles – two articulated lorries, a rigid-base 18 tone lorry, a 7.5 tonne van and a bus.

Paul said: “The business has grown exponentially in the last three years as we’ve gone hell for leather to meet growing demand.

“After being a one-man band for so long, it’s great to be part of a team, creating jobs and helping more people develop HGV driving skills and confidence.”

Business support advisor at Enterprising Barnsley, Paul Johnson said: “Sarah and Paul have accelerated growth in their business over the last few years and, as a result of this investment, they now have the facilities, fleet and team in place to support further growth.

“We look forward to seeing them help many more people across the region gain the skills they need for employment in transport logistics sectors.”