CLEAN Linen Services has announced plans to invest £7m in its Yeovil laundry to increase capacity, boost jobs and help it build on its existing success.
The next phase of investment will see the Yeovil site increase its processing capacity by 50 per cent – from 800k pieces of linen per week to 1.2m and introduce 35 new production and driver roles to the existing 261-strong workforce.
So far £2.7m of the £7m investment has been ploughed into the site on the Lufton Trading Estate, financing a 400sqm mezzanine floor and new meeting and training rooms.
CLEAN plans to use the remaining funds to expand capacity further at the site and to invest in new machinery with the aim of making the Yeovil laundry the largest processing site within the group.
Expansion of CLEAN’s Yeovil laundry, which serves customers across South West England, including Premier Inn, Marriott and Harbour Hotels, also means the creation of new jobs for the community and development of its current team.
CLEAN estimates that increasing capacity at the site, which has been in operation since July 2011, will enable it to grow revenue from £74m to £100m by 2023.
News of the company’s investment plans comes following a highly successful period for CLEAN Yeovil.
The site’s team achieved 100 per cent of customer orders for more than 300 days throughout peak season, meaning that over 20m pieces of linen were delivered on time and with no mistakes or returns.
Kevin Godley, CEO of CLEAN, said: “We have ambitious expansion plans for CLEAN Yeovil and this level of investment will enable us to achieve it. The site’s track record for order accuracy is unbeatable. Even the most renowned delivery companies would struggle to successfully achieve this level of efficiency, so we know we will grow from a strong base. We look forward to sharing our plans further with Yeovil residents as we move forward.”
CLEAN has relaunched its Driver Academy in a bid to encourage more delivery drivers into the industry.
Professional drivers perform an essential role at CLEAN, delivering millions of pieces of linen and workwear annually to customers around the UK and with the business continuing to grow, the company is looking to increase its driver numbers from the current 205 it already employs.
However, with the UK currently facing a shortage of almost 50,000 HGV drivers caused by a 25 per cent drop in new driver license acquisitions, CLEAN has developed a plan to help boost numbers.
The CLEAN Driver Academy includes a full Induction process in van driving (B licence up to 3.5 tonnes MPW and no Driver CPC) and LGV driving (C1, C, CE over 3.5 tonnes MPW with a Driver CPC required).
The one-day Van Driver and LGV Driver training covers a wide number of areas, including speed awareness, vehicle checks, safe loading and load restraint, road craft, tachographs, manual handling, safe operation of tail lifts, and customer care. Assessments on certain areas will be held before participants sit a 50-question paper.
Papers for both courses require a 75 per cent pass rate, with successful candidates then considered for a delivery driver job with CLEAN.
As well as running the induction courses for new drivers, CLEAN runs a dedicated training programme to up-skill its current workforce. This includes Driver CPC training, regular Driver Assessments and driving style measurements from the vehicle telematics system, as well as post incident training.
In addition, CLEAN actively encourages employees in other departments, who express an interest in driving, to join the ‘Warehouse to Wheels’ project. This provides on the job training and assessments, along with access to the required driving test for the appropriate licence category. CLEAN has also taken a proactive approach in recruiting and mentoring newly qualified LGV drivers who may normally struggle to obtain employment.
Tim Bright, head of transport at CLEAN, said: “The impact of the driver shortage is affecting many businesses across the UK in an economy that is reliant on the movement of heavy goods. As CLEAN continues on its growth trajectory, we are more dedicated than ever to providing opportunities to both our existing and future employees that serve CLEAN and the UK transportation industry as a whole.
“Our plan is to not only eliminate many of the challenges and obstacles that have led to this shortage, such as the financial costs of becoming a HGV driver, but also provide high-quality training that will upskill our drivers to the benefit of the economy, as more qualified professionals strengthen the nation’s workforce.”
CLEAN previously ran its Drivers Academy in 2017.