Jon Aspden, Head of Driver Training at Clipper Logistics, now part of GXO, has completed his fourth overseas secondment for international development organisation Transaid, spending two weeks working with professional driver trainers on Transaid’s road safety project in Ghana.
His trip follows earlier inputs in Tanzania and Zambia, in 2009, 2012 and 2020, and saw him working closely with four trainers based in the country’s capital, Accra.
Commenting on his experience, Aspden says: “The group had completed a lot of theory training before I arrived, so my remit was to focus on teaching practical training skills, delivered in a structured manner and in accordance with the new and enhanced HGV driver training standard developed for Ghana.
“The trainers settled into the training rhythm quickly, gaining confidence with their in-cab instruction techniques and working hard to create an environment where self-development was encouraged. I saw a fundamental change in their driving styles and coaching abilities, and when the time came for me to fly home, I left feeling I’d had the biggest positive impact to-date.”
Despite this being his first experience delivering training in a left-hand drive vehicle, Jon quickly acclimatised to the 16-speed manual DAF XF, noting in his report that it was the first time in his career that a training session had been halted by cows on the road!
Commenting on his input, Sam Clark, Head of Programmes and Acting Co-Chief Executive at Transaid, said: “Support from corporate members is paramount to the success of our driver training programmes. The calibre of the trainers we have access to in the UK is unmatched, and their inputs are key to us being able to build local skills which ensure sustainable and lasting change.
“A huge thank you as well to Jon for his longstanding commitment to Transaid; we are fairly sure that four secondments from one individual sets a new industry record!”
Transaid’s work in Ghana forms part of a three-and-a-half-year project, funded by Puma Energy Foundation, to raise training standards and expand training capacity for HGV drivers. The aim is to reduce road traffic fatalities and injuries, in a country where the World Health Organisation estimates around 7,000 people lost their lives on the road in 2016.
Transaid secured its involvement in the project through its proven track record working with local partners to improve the driving standards of more than 50,000 mostly HGV and PSV drivers in sub-Saharan Africa since 2008.