Manufacturer supports diversity within its workforce

From a very young age, Martyn has always wanted to have a career behind the wheel. As a driver for Forterra’s HGV fleet at Measham, Martyn is involved with route planning, vehicle safety checks and deliveries up and down the country.

“I loved trucks and lorries as a child, and part of the appeal of the job for me has always been the way you get to travel around the country meeting new people,” said Martyn.

“I really enjoy driving; I learnt as soon as I could, pretty much immediately after I turned 17. As well as HGV lorries, I’m also qualified to drive forklifts and a big shovel loader.

“But more than anything else it’s the reduced need for verbal communication in this role that has made it perfect for me in particular.

“Being deaf makes it harder to communicate verbally, so although I can work in a team, I prefer to work solo. As an HGV driver, you’re pretty much on your own for 90% of the day, so it’s the perfect role for me!”

“There are of course still challenges surrounding communication in this role, but we always find a way to adapt to these situations. Utilising other modes of communication such as hand signals and mirrors is always a great help.”

Martyn has benefited from supportive training instructors who have helped him overcome several difficulties facing him as a deaf person, both in his daily life and in his profession including his current manager, Rory Locker. Similarly, the presence of subtitled training videos provides a vital and useful aid and the provision of a hi-vis jacket with ‘hearing impaired’ written on the reverse ensures colleagues and clients alike are aware and can find a way to communicate effectively. Raising awareness about diversity within the workplace and the extra support that is required are important topics for Martyn.

He said, “I think we need to have more diversity in the manufacturing and logistics industries. It’s nice to see more female drivers out there, but people like myself, who were born deaf, are still quite underrepresented. I don’t know any other deaf drivers.

“Having seen first-hand how anyone can make a go at their dream career, if you work hard and have a good company that will support you, then go for it. I was very lucky with Forterra, in so far as they gave me a chance to prove myself and continuously supported me.”

Rory Locker, Forterra Transport Manager, said, “We are committed to creating an inclusive workplace free from discrimination, where diversity is valued. Martyn is a fantastic hardworking member of our team and always meets every challenge head on with a great sense of humour. It’s a pleasure to support him and see him thrive in a role he enjoys. Now more than ever, businesses must demonstrate their support and commitment to those they employ and provide equal opportunities for people to flourish.”

Forterra is committed to ensuring that its workforce is representative of the regions in which it operates.

For more information about careers with Forterra, visit https://www.forterra.co.uk/careers/.

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