A driver's mate travels in LGVs, trucks or delivery vans to assist the driver with loading and unloading the vehicle, ensuring paperwork is completed and liaising with customers to confirm arrival times.
There is no fixed entry route into the career and, although good passes in GCSE maths and English can help to demonstrate an ability to deal with documents, no qualifications are required.
Some companies recruit apprentices for the role, but most employers are happy to take people with a background in warehouse work or labouring, who can cope with the physical nature of the job and know how to lift safely.
The number of businesses that recruit for driver's mates is huge, as logistics firms, retailers, couriers and manufacturers all need them. There are also employment opportunities with companies that require their delivery staff to have specialist experience, such as breweries, petrol distributors and waste disposal operators.
Many jobs in the field pay the minimum wage, but salaries can rise to more than £15,000. There is usually an additional allowance for shift work, as deliveries often have to take place outside customers' standard opening hours.
Temporary driver's mate work is widely available via recruitment agencies and this can lead to a permanent job. Employers often use this method to find staff because agencies carry out reference checks before sending people out on assignments, and it can also act as an effective trial period.