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Women in Logistics – Jessica’s story

Nineteen-year-old Jessica Holden, a truck driver hailing from Bury, is poised for a bright future in logistics following her outstanding performance in the LGV driver apprenticeship program with our partners TRS. Employed by MJ Laycock Heavy Haulage Ltd, a family-operated business specialising in transporting paper-making machinery, Jessica embodies a spirited determination for independence.

Raised on her family’s farm, Jessica developed a strong work ethic and a fondness for outdoor endeavours from a young age. To support herself during her school years, she took on various weekend jobs, including washing trucks at MJ Laycock Heavy Haulage. Recognising her diligence, owner Matthew Laycock offered Jessica a position in the office, and later, in August 2022, extended her an apprenticeship opportunity as an HGV driver, facilitated by TRS.

Without hesitation, Jessica embraced the offer, fuelled by a passion for a career offering the autonomy she craved. With a penchant for solitude and self-sufficiency, the world of professional truck driving resonated perfectly with Jessica’s aspirations, aligning harmoniously with her desire for independence.

Inspiration to women considering HGV careers:

To no one’s surprise, Jessica applied herself wholeheartedly to her apprenticeship, working hard to achieve her HGV Class 1 licence and complete all the modules on her course. She received support throughout from her TRS trainer, Gary Thompson who says: “Jessica is amazing! Such a hard worker with the right values and approach to work and life. She thoroughly deserves her distinction and is a truly inspirational role model to any young woman considering a career as an HGV driver”.

Apprenticeship providing broader logistics knowledge

Jessica says: “My apprenticeship with TRS has given me my licence which is invaluable to my career. Not only that, but it also provided me with broader knowledge about the logistics industry which I wouldn’t have been able to pick up just from my job. For example, at MJ Laycock Haulage, we specialise in delivering paper-making machinery.  It’s certainly an art form to secure these loads for transportation; we use specific cranes, knots and covers. My manager Matthew has taught me these expert skills and my apprenticeship has taught me about securing other types of loads that I don’t get a chance to deal with in my job.

Community spirit and camaraderie

Jessica represents a growing cohort of young women opting for careers in logistics. Her determination to debunk any lingering stereotypes suggesting that lorry driving isn’t suitable for women is palpable: “There’s no reason why women can’t do this job. If you’re a female who likes driving and spending time alone, then I would say go for it! The solo nature of driving certainly appeals to me. And to break up long distances, there are always truck stops which offer community spirit and camaraderie with fellow truck drivers.”

Progression to Transport Manager

Now that Jessica has completed her LGV apprenticeship, she contemplates the possibility of pursuing a transport management apprenticeship down the line. With her background as a farmer’s daughter, her ultimate aspiration is to operate livestock and feed wagons in the future. In the meantime, she eagerly anticipates driving the company’s wagons to various truck shows across the country soon.