Ellen Ashton

Five minutes with…

Ellen Ashton

NRI Instructor

Goldstar Transport

How and when did your career at Goldstar Transport?
Being a lorry driver was my childhood dream from when I was 14 years old.

My teenage boyfriend’s dad at that time was a truck driver. On a Saturday, while the boyfriend was at football practice, I used to go with his dad in the truck to collect bulk coal.

This was my first encounter with trucks, and I soon discovered they were my passion. It still took a few more years for me to realise my dream.

I worked in various jobs, including factories and pubs when I left school. I then decided to become a prison officer at HMP Highpoint, a job I enjoyed for ten years.

I left the prison service in 2013 when I decided to apply for my HGV licence.

Talk us through your Goldstar Transport career journey?
I joined Goldstar and quickly achieved my class 2, and in June 2014, I qualified as a Class 1 HGV driver. I couldn’t get out on the road quick enough.

Going through the Goldstar Driver Training Academy showed me the amount of support and guidance a new driver needs. I was delighted to become a new driver mentor, a role I held for three years.

With my experience and the team’s support, I felt I could add additional value by becoming an instructor. So, I started investigating what it would take to become an instructor.

What prompted the change to become a qualified NRI instructor?
A vacancy became available in Goldstar for a new instructor. I applied and was thrilled to get the job. I thought it would prove helpful to have a female instructor in the team and encourage more females into the industry in a male-dominated environment. Goldstar wholeheartedly supported my training, and I successfully gained my NRI ‘National Register of Instructors’ qualification.

What advice would you give other women considering a career in logistics?
I would tell other females to go into the industry with their eyes open and not be intimidated by others. It’s long hours and can be dirty work (sometimes) and don’t let others put you off.

It’s not for everyone, and if you have a young family, it can be a tricky job to do. However, it is a career you can always return to, and a company like Goldstar Transport will welcome you back with open arms.

Tell us a guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is simple it’s Crunchy Nut Cornflakes with cream!