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All recent news from British Sugar

British Sugar supports Abbey's Class 2 to 1 programme with their own driver training scheme

11 October 2021

Following on from the success of our partner Abbey Logistics’ Class 2 to Class 1 driver programme, British Sugar has launched its own ‘earn while you learn’ Class 2 to Class 1 training which is designed and managed by Abbey’s Driver Training Team and will be run alongside Abbey’s existing Class 2 to 1 programme.

The training is being launched this month and British Sugar is calling on Class 2 drivers in Norfolk, Suffolk and Nottinghamshire, who are interested in obtaining their Class 1 licence, to get in touch.

The course offers fully paid training with a guaranteed HGV Driver role on successful completion and is a mix of classroom and practical, on-the-road learning.  

Since Abbey launched its new training course earlier this year, the company has received hundreds of enquiries from Class 2 drivers, keen to make the move into Class 1 driving.

Several drivers have already passed through Abbey’s training and successfully obtained their Class 1 licence and are now working for Abbey across the UK.

Having seen the demand and success of Abbey’s new training programme, British Sugar has committed to funding its own course which is designed to boost the number of drivers on its fleet to support the continued transport of bulk homegrown sugar.  

As the sole processor of the UK’s beet sugar crop, British Sugar are the leading producer of sugar for the British and Irish food and beverage markets, processing around eight million tonnes of sugar beet that produces around 1.2 million tonnes of sugar each year.

The new training package is designed to future proof the British Sugar’s supply chain and provide secure and long-term jobs for drivers interested in becoming Class 1 qualified.

Stewart Dickson, British Sugar’s Head of Logistics said:

“We have worked in partnership with Abbey since 2016 and faced numerous challenges which we have overcome together, and the current UK HGV driver shortage is another challenge we are facing as one team.

“We are fortunate to have Abbey’s dedicated and talented drivers supporting us across the UK and this latest development demonstrates our commitment to ensure we have a reliable and highly trained team of drivers for many years to come.

“Class 2 Drivers that successfully obtain their Class 1 Licence through this new scheme are guaranteed a full-time job on completion of the course and our goal is to increase the size of our team by approximately 20 drivers who want to stay with the business long term.”

Abbey Logistics Training Manager Matthew Parry said:

Thanks to the feedback we have received from drivers currently on our class 2 to class 1 programme and recent graduates, we know this is a programme that many drivers want.

“It is also a fantastic endorsement of what we have created that British Sugar wish to support us with a dedicated scheme for their operation, and create accessible and meaningful opportunities for drivers looking for a long term career as a Class 1 driver.” 

Stewart Dickson added:

“It is important that we attract and support new talent entering the industry, and this package is designed to help those that may be interested but have considered the high entry costs a barrier.

“British Sugar has a proud history of apprentice and graduate programmes and this initiative is just the latest in a long list of ways we have supported people in our communities through 'on-the-job' training opportunities.”

Notes to editors:

If you are a Class 2 driver looking to make the transition to Class 1 and would like to know more, please contact