From the UK to Uganda: Ellie Lynch completes driver training secondment
As 2019 came to an end, so did Ellie Lynch’s secondment in Uganda. The XPO Logistics graduate completed a six-month placement as a Project Officer in Kampala, working on the Professional Driver Training project. During her time in Kampala, she supported a major project to build the capacity of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) and passenger service vehicle (PSV) driver training.
Transaid’s professional driver training work in Uganda is one of our largest road safety initiatives and also the first time our road safety work has received external funding on such a significant scale. Funding has been made available jointly by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad).
Ellie’s focus was on engaging with private sector transport companies to recruit them into the Road Safety Programme at the Safe Way Right Way Uganda centre, which is working to ensure Ugandan drivers are in a position to meet the needs of the oil, gas and related sectors, in the face of rising demand for qualified commercial drivers.
As well as supporting recruitment, her role included examining driver training activities and tracking data trends relating to safe driver behaviour – both before and after the training.
Explaining her role, Ellie said: “The main aim is to prove that the training Transaid has helped to develop improves road safety and actually saves lives. This helps to ensure greater take-up from local fleets and will support us in introducing the programme to other African countries where we can have an incredible impact.”
Her role also included helping Transaid and the Uganda Driving Standards Agency (UDSA) to enhance the capacity of driver recruitment, training and business development by establishing maintenance schedules and fuel trackers for training vehicles, whilst also formalising job descriptions for UDSA employees.
Mark Simmons, XPO Logistics HR Director, UK and Ireland, said the placement was in keeping with the company’s ethos of safety: “Safety is one of our core values as a business. We believe that all our employees have a role to play to make sure that everyone – in our operations and beyond – is safe. We’re really proud to have our graduates take part in this programme and share this important value all the way to Kampala.”
Meanwhile, Transaid CEO Caroline Barber said: “We are incredibly grateful to our corporate member XPO Logistics for its continued support in offering graduates the opportunity to be seconded onto one of our road safety projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
“These graduate schemes help people share valuable experiences and knowledge, and means they return to the UK having learnt many new skills. They also help us to gain new perspectives on tackling transport issues and really enhance the value we can deliver through our professional driver training programmes.”
The placement was part of XPO Logistics’ Graduate Programme, which is structured as four six-month assignments over a two-year period. Ellie has worked for XPO Logistics for nearly two years and her time in Uganda marks her last placement on the scheme.