Newport-based Monex Group, an HGV delivery and training firm based in Newport, was one of the first companies to train drivers remotely and has just been recertified for quality and health and safety.

The business, an accredited partner with the Road Transport Industry Training Board, regained its ISO 9001 (quality) and ISO 45001 (health & safety) certificates.

As a company helping to train lorry drivers it is at the front line of helping to plug the shortage of operatives in the industry, and will be partnering with industry-leading training provider TSW to ramp up their courses.

The hectic schedule has also seen the business nominated for the Wales Prestige Awards which is for businesses that have proven to be the best in their market over the past 12 months.

James Howells, managing director, said: “It’s been a whirlwind since the start of the year, and I couldn’t be prouder of our 125 staff here who have been magnificent throughout the pandemic and the blizzard of work we’ve had to cope with since lockdown has been eased.

“During Covid we continued to function at full capacity as we picked up a lot of work helping supermarkets keep their shelves stocked, but we did have the challenge of setting up all our office staff to work from home.

“We also took our driver Certificate of Professional Competence – the mandatory 35 hours of training every five years drivers have to take – online and were one of the first training companies to do this. We had to set up a studio with camera and IT equipment, but it’s been a great success.

“We also became a registered Covid Test Centre during this time because we wanted to ‘do our bit’ in the fight against the pandemic.

“New challenges for Monex have come in the form of the current general shortage of drivers, which has seen us – through our training arm Monex Academy – bring in our ‘432 offer’. This is where, upon successfully passing an interview, aspiring drivers will get their Class 1 & 2 HGV licence for just £432 and will be given a job with us, as long as they stay for at least two years.

“Although initially a challenge, we have taken Brexit issues in our stride and have become our own shipping agent so we can deliver straight to Europe, which most of our competitors can’t currently do,” he said.