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Sweet sixteen

It’s sixteen years since Lorraine Thompson opened Driver Hire’s Oxford office. Initially trading from Dawson Street, the business was a family affair with Lorraine’s brother and father both involved. During our first month’s trading we covered 69 shifts. Nowadays we regularly average over a 1,000 and, through dh Solutions, cover much more than driving jobs. Lorraine is, of course, still very much in charge ably supported by office manager, Tony Summerfield, who’s now clocked up 12 years with the business. Encouraged by the success at Oxford, Lorraine’s brother Andrew now owns and operates Driver Hire Swindon.


Secret ingredient

Could Lorraine Thompson prove to be the secret ingredient that turns Driver Hire’s entry for the 2011 ‘Franchisor of the Year’ awards into a winner? Driver Hire claimed the trophy in 2006 and has been a finalist every year since, in this annual British Franchise Association organised event. Lorraine was asked to make a presentation in London on the office’s success with Driver CPC. The judges included blunt Yorkshireman, Sir Bernard Ingham, who some will remember was Margaret Thatcher’s Chief Press Secretary. “It was a great honour to be asked and I was to delighted to meet Sir Bernard. It will be even better if my input helps Driver Hire to win the award,” said Lorraine.


Strong temp demand continues

Driver Hire Oxford is bucking the trend. Whilst industry body, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, has reported that the pace in expansion for temporary billings has eased to its lowest this year, we’ve continued to see strong growth – currently 60% up on turnover at this time last year. “Business at Driver Hire Oxford is strong and new clients are using us for all their temporary and permanent recruiting requirements,” says office manager, Tony Summerfield. “There’s certainly been an upturn in interest from both the logistics and building sectors, which is very encouraging as we approach the summer season.”


The ‘Majid’ Numbers

Earlier this year we won the inaugural Driver Hire Training award. There’s a good reason why Driver Hire’s senior management team selected us; since launching Driver CPC training, our trainer, Majid Shafiq has achieved some magic numbers. He’s delivered over 70 courses and trained just short of 700 drivers. But our success is also down to the quality of the training Majid is delivering. Even old hands with 30 years’ driving experience have learnt new things. That’s what Phil Stevenson from a local haulier told us after his team of drivers had completed their training.


Looking ahead, Maj is going to be kept busy; that’s because our newest recruit, Alice Devine has brought in 76 new Driver CPC clients since joining the team!

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