GXO Graduate begins six-month secondment with Transaid in Zambia

Nicoletta Effah, a Graduate Operations Management Trainee for Cold Chain Federation member GXO, has embarked upon a six-month secondment as a Project Officer for international development organisation Transaid, supporting its longstanding road safety project in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka.

Her arrival marks 15 years since Transaid first partnered with the Industrial Training Centre (ITC) – the only public commercial driver training school in Zambia – to build capacity to deliver professional HGV and PSV driver training to internationally recognised standards.

A key part of Nicoletta’s decision to join GXO’s graduate scheme in January 2023 was down to the company’s corporate partnership with Transaid. Before being hired, she reached out to employees who had already completed secondments with Transaid, to learn more about their experiences.

Commenting on the opportunity in Zambia, Nicoletta says: “I know I can’t make a tangible change alone, so I wanted to join an organisation that could, and GXO’s graduate scheme has offered me this opportunity. I really hope that by the end of my time here in Zambia I will have made a positive contribution to Transaid’s work; I’m focused on ensuring that the changes I help to put in place can be maintained after I leave.”

Early priorities for Nicoletta have been creating a maintenance schedule to forward-plan servicing, avoiding clashes with when the assets are needed for practical training. This has become increasingly important given the current high utilisation of all training vehicles, due to exceptional driver demand.

Gavin Williams, Managing Director, UK and Ireland, GXO, and Transaid Trustee, adds: “The secondment programme is a great opportunity for Nicoletta to gain new skills and we look forward to seeing the positive impact she makes on the ground in Lusaka. Our graduate programme plays a vital role in developing our future leaders and we’re delighted to partner with Transaid and be able to offer such a fantastic experience.”

Neil Rettie, Transaid’s Road Safety Project Manager, explains: “The calibre of the graduates GXO places with us each year is a testament to the talent they attract as an organisation, and which we are so incredibly lucky to benefit from. It’s a perfect example of how our corporate membership programme benefits all parties – allowing us to bring additional resource onto key projects, whilst delivering the kind of management training experience which would be hard to match in the UK.”

The ITC is currently preparing to welcome two new trucks into service from the UK market, bringing much-needed additional training capacity. Nicoletta has been tasked with supporting their roll-out, and ensuring management can benefit from the added value of having telematics-equipped vehicles for the first time. To support her, she will undergo online telematics training with suppliers Microlise and Brigade Electronics.

Between April 2022 and March 2023 the ITC provided training for nearly 2,000 drivers, and drivers are currently booking two months ahead to secure a place on a training course.

For more information and to find out how you can support the organisation visit www.transaid.org.

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