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Meet The Team: TTA Assessor / Trainer – Sharon Sudgen.

Have you ever wondered what sort of person works at TTA?

What sort of experience do TTA assessors bring to logistics training and what do they get up to on a ‘typical’ day?


Well, now’s your chance to find out. TTA thought you’d like to know what goes on behind the scenes at one of the North West’s leading logistics training organisations. So we’d like to introduce you to Assessor/Trainer, Sharron Sugden. Sharon joined the company in 2014. Here’s what she had to say about life at Transport Training Academy.

What sort of experience did you have in the Logistics Industry before joining as a TTA assessor in 2014?

“I passed my Class 1 in 1989. I did that for about 16 years then in 2005 I went into transport planning and became a Works Planning Manager for DHL. I then took my Operator’s Licence which is now the known as the Transport Managers CPC – not to be confused with the Driver’s CPC. Then I moved on to become an Operations Manager at DHL on a different contract. I took my A1 Assessing qualifications and eventually moved on to assessing in Warehousing and Storage and Driving Goods Vehicles.”

“I did that for a couple of years whilst raising my son single-handedly. During this time I also worked with inmates and people who had been served with probation orders. I found this sort of work really interesting because you not only got to see what had led people to where they were, but also how those circumstances affected their decision making, how they saw their lives and how they fitted in. Because of that experience I decided that I’d like to study counselling. I got accepted onto a Level 3 Counselling Course at Southport College. I’ve passed that qualification now. Whilst studying for this qualification I carried on doing Child and Adolescent counselling in my own time.”

“Just as I finished my counselling course I happened to notice a job vacancy on LinkedIn with Transport Training. It seemed to be the perfect fit for me so I applied straight away. With all of my driving, transport experience, and logistics knowledge, and because I held my operator’s licence and was an assessor, the job just seemed tailor-made for me. I’ve been with Transport Training now since June 2014, and I love it even though it’s very busy and fast paced.”

What do you do in a typical day at Transport Training Academy?

“I conduct Driver Training and I am also an Apprenticeship Assessor and it’s my responsibility to bring through the new guys and girls into the logistics and driving industry. I’m responsible for delivering Driving Goods Vehicles for Class 1 and 2 training. I’m also TTA’s Safeguarding Officer. I also deliver Logistics Operations Apprenticeships and Traffic Office Apprenticeships, training young people between the ages of 16 to around 30. My role is to get the new recruits trained up as they should be, so that they can go on to secure satisfying jobs. The right sort of training not only prepares them for life in the logistics industry, but also helps to secure the future of the industry itself. I’m also a trainer for the Driver’s Certificate of Professional Competence Courses.”

What do you find most fulfilling about your job?

I love the job because of the variety it offers. No two days are ever the same. I get to meet a lot of different people and characters. What I particularly enjoy doing is the Apprenticeship training. It’s great because you can see the candidates develop. When they first arrive they’re often not confident in their abilities. They’ve often told themselves that they can’t do things for years and years, or have been told they can’t do things, to then go on to achieve their goals and get their Apprenticeship qualification. They eventually recognise the qualities in themselves that they never knew they had. To be able to bring out those qualities in young apprentices is very rewarding and gives me great satisfaction.”

What do you do away from work?

“I’ve also got lots of other interests outside work too. I like F1, stunt driving, and anything equestrian, and for my sins I support Manchester City – but the less said about that at the moment the better. I’m also very involved in charity work in my spare time. I’ve walked from Lands’ End to John o’ Groats pushing two cerebral palsy sufferers for Scope and I trekked along the old coffee trail in the Guatemalan Highlands to raise money for Mind.”

“I’ve taken aid to Romania as part of a transport convoy in 1990. This was very upsetting as you can imagine, but it was an interesting experience none the less. Of all the charity work I’ve been involved in, this was perhaps the one that I am most proud of. The country was devastated after the old regime collapsed. On the trip you got to meet the real people and the orphans who had suffered terribly under the collapsed Ceausescu regime. There was awful suffering right across the country. We saw some of this devastation when we delivered aid to a small town called Oratia in Buzau County. The aid we delivered didn’t solve the problems unfortunately, but I think what we did made a difference.”

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