We warmly congratulate our five ex-trainees on passing their final exams at TALKE!
On behalf of all graduates, we asked Tanja Gerhards about her completed training as a professional driver. We were curious to know how she felt about her training in a male-dominated profession and whether she could dispel certain prejudices. Via telephone interview, she gave us the following answers to our questions:
Being a professional driver is not the typical female profession. How did you decide to train as a professional driver at TALKE?
I like to travel a lot and I'm very active in motor sports in my free time, so I wanted to go in that direction. I actually wanted to become a freight train driver, but there was no suitable training position. So I had to look for an alternative... During the summer vacations, I often accompanied my father on his work as a crane operator, so I knew the containers with the TALKE label. Because TALKE wasn’t a strange company, I applied here and it worked out!
How it feels for a young woman to complete your training in a male domain?
In the first few months it was very unusual, not only for me, but also for the rest of the team! At that time, there were no other female employees in logistics besides me; and only a few in the workshop. But after the initial settling-in period, I was no longer perceived differently from the others; I was part of the team. The only difference I felt was in the distribution of tasks, because a lot of consideration was given to my person and that's why I wasn't assigned the heaviest physical tasks!
What did you learn during your training and what did you enjoy the most?
By being on my own a lot, I learned to become independent. Above all, that developed my personality. Otherwise, driving itself has always been the most fun for me. When I didn't have a driver's license yet, I went on the road with my other colleagues. It was exciting to see how they drove and organized their working day, e.g. how clean they kept their trucks or how well they managed abroad.
What routes will you be driving in the future and what products will you be transporting?
I drive local transport, i.e. within a radius of 300km - Belgium and the Netherlands are included. I transport mainly harmless substances, but sometimes dangerous ones as well.
Are there any myths or prejudices that you can dispel?
Yes! Professional drivers are not uneducated and unclean. The reality at TALKE is quite different.
Who would you recommend the apprenticeship to?
To those who are interested in vehicles, because maintenance and technology are important parts of the training. In addition, TALKE only offers training for liquid transport, so you should be aware of that beforehand. After successfully passing her final exam, Tanja Gerhards will continue to support us as a fully trained specialist. We are greatful thank her and wish her a safe journey!