A Miss England beauty queen is swapping high-heels for high-vis as she trains to become a lorry driver due to a shortage of UK truckers.
Farmer’s daughter and model Milly Everatt, 22, from Eastoft, Lincolnshire, is working towards a new career in a traditionally male-dominated industry in a bid to break the stereotype.
She is currently training for both her Class 1 and Class 2 HGV licence which could see her behind the wheel of 44-tonne lorries.
Milly is already used to driving tractors around her father’s farm and believes the step up to huge trucks is the next logical progression.
She said she was inspired to do so after a combination of Covid, Brexit and other factors led to a shortage of lorry drivers across the country.
Miss England contestant Milly Everatt, 22, has decided to make a significant career change, ditching pageants for heavy duty vehicles as she trains to become an HGV driver
Getting an HGV licence requires more work than obtaining a standard driving license, according to Milly, who says she is currently working on the theory side
Despite being involved in the glamorous world of modelling, Milly – pictured here while on a modelling trip – says she is as comfortable behind the wheel as in front of the camera
Milly was crowned Miss Charity in the 2018 Miss England contest, after raising the most money for charity. She finished in sixth place overall
Now the beauty queen says she wants to prove it’s ‘not just 40-year-old men’ who can operate heavy-duty vehicles
The career change is a far cry from her time on the catwalk as a model and finalist in the Miss England beauty contest.
The former Miss Lincolnshire was crowned Miss Charity in 2018 after raising the most money for good causes.
Four years later, stunning Milly is now on course to become a lorry driver to prove it’s ‘not just 40-year-old men’ who can operate heavy-duty vehicles.
It is currently estimated that only one per cent to three per cent of HGV drivers are female, in what is one of the biggest gender imbalances in British society.
Milly said: ‘I think we’re in modern times and there’s nothing to stop girls getting involved in that kind of thing.
‘It’s not the norm but it should be. It’s also something people don’t think about often, it’s not thought about enough in feminism.
‘I know some farmers daughters who don’t do anything to help their parents farm. Agriculture has been forgotten about by feminism.
‘Anything that breaks the stereotype has to be a good thing. I want to prove its not just 40-year-old men that do this job and if it inspires other women to do the same, that would be amazing.
The 22-year-old is a farmer’s daughter, which she says means she has ‘always been around heavy machinery’
‘There’s a lot to do to get a HGV licence, much more than your average driving licence and I’m currently focusing on the theory side.
‘I’ve been having a go of lorries on the yard and I’ll soon be out there on the roads all being well.
‘But when I first started to learn, it was funny when I hopped out of the lorry. I’m quite little and everyone laughed.’
Obtaining an HGV license has always been on model Milly’s list of things to do despite her modelling past.
She said: ‘It was always on my list of things to do. I should’ve done it at 18. But I was doing my A-Levels and then the pandemic happened so I put it off.
Milly says that despite trucking being overwhelmingly male, there is ‘nothing to stop girls getting involved in that kind of thing’
Milly, pictured during a free trip to Mauritius for Miss England finalists; she says the holiday provided a ‘much needed break from the farm and the wet and windy British weather’
Having an HGV license was actually something Milly wanted to start working on when she turned 18, but she delayed getting started because of the pandemic
‘It’s something that I want to have under my belt. I have horses so it could help for that and I can use it to take grain in – it’s something I’ll use everyday while I’m on the farm.
‘The shortage of HGV drivers last year really spurred me on, it made me want to get it again.’
Milly first considered applying for Miss England because of her sister’s modelling past and she aims to enter the prestigious pageant once again this year.
She recently enjoyed a free luxury trip away from the farm with other five other Miss England finalists to stay at Lux Hotels & Resorts in Mauritius.
She added: ‘My mum and my sister both did modelling, it was always something that was going on. My older sister had done Miss England and I thought about doing it.
She says she knows she doesn’t look like a farmer, but Milly enjoys the work, and is not afraid to get her hands dirty
‘Not the norm’: Milly says that while it isn’t common for women to work in fields like HGV driving and agriculture, there is ‘nothing to stop girls getting involved in that kind of thing’
Milly is hoping to start driving trucks on the road soon, after practising on the yard of her family farm and working on the theory side
‘When I entered online I never thought it would go further. I was surprised when I get a call back.
‘I was only 18 at the time. It made me more confident in speaking to an audience, I got used to speaking with adults. It brought me out of my shell.
‘We also have a family farm which I work on, so I’ve always been around heavy machinery.
‘The trip to Mauritius recently was a much needed break from the farm and the wet and windy British weather.
‘The farming side is a bit of a curve ball I suppose, I know I don’t look like a farmer but I really enjoy it and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty.’