Apprenticeships combat skills shortages in UK logistics

By Freddie Pierce
Figures from Skills for Logistics reveal that logistics apprenticeship starts increased by 29 percent in 2011/12, when a total of 15,670 new apprentice...

Figures from Skills for Logistics reveal that logistics apprenticeship starts increased by 29 percent in 2011/12, when a total of 15,670 new apprentices began their placement in England.

In the run-up to National Apprenticeship Week, the group have highlighted the positive impacts that apprenticeships are having on logistics organizations,

“This significant increase is great news for the Logistics Sector because it clearly demonstrates that we are successfully attracting greater numbers of younger people into our industry,” said Dr Mick Jackson, CEO of Skills for Logistics.

Over 90 per cent of the reviewed apprenticeship certificates are given out for the Driving Goods Vehicles and Warehousing and Storage frameworks. Other logistics-oriented apprenticeships available in England include: International Trade and Logistics Operations; Logistics Operations; Mail Services; Supply Chain Management; Commercial Moving and Traffic Office. Maritime Occupations and Express Logistics apprenticeship frameworks have also been added during 2012.

Historically, 29,045 Intermediate and 4,129 advanced certificates have been issued. These successful apprentices have gone on to add value to the UK economy to the tune of over £0.5bn per year between them, as well as bringing their employers the efficiency benefits of employees with up to date and relevant skills.

“By creating apprenticeships in close partnership with employers in the Logistics Industry we can ensure that that they are built around the high demand for the right kind of skills in the sector,” said Dr Jackson.  “To encourage more young people people into apprenticeships, SfL is working with a number of employers to look at ‘Traineeships’, or ‘pre-employment programmes’, that will help bridge young people into the sector.”

Apprenticeship schemes could help solve the global skills shortage in the logistics sector, where organizations such as Skills for Logistics are making headway in encouraging young people to learn crucial skills whilst tackling unemployment.

Dr Jackson concluded: “Promoting the Logistics Sector as a career option for young people is a key goal for Skills for Logistics. These schemes, along with other SfL initiatives due to be launched soon - such as the Skills Calculator, the Logistics Locker and a Mentoring Programme - are designed to attract more young people into the sector. In addition to helping to fill the skills gap in our industry they will also contribute to a reduction in the UK’s high levels of youth unemployment.”

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