Apprenticeships combat skills shortages in UK logistics
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.”
Biden establishes Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force
The US government is to establish a new body with the express purpose of addressing imbalances and other supply chain concerns highlighted in a review of the sector, ordered by President Joe Biden shortly after his inauguration.
The Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force will “focus on areas where a mismatch between supply and demand has been evident,” the White House said. The division will be headed up by the Secretaries of Commerce, Transportation, and Agriculture, and will focus on housing construction, transportation, agriculture and food, and semiconductors - a drastic shortage of which has hit some of the US economy’s biggest industries in consumer technology and vehicle manufacturing.
“The Task Force will bring the full capacity of the federal government to address near-term supply/demand mismatches. It will convene stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions - large and small, public or private - that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints,” the White House said.
In late February, President Biden ordered a 100 day review of the supply chain across the key areas of medicine, raw materials and agriculture, the findings of which were released this week. While the COVID-19 health crisis had a deleterious effect on the nation’s supply chain, the published assessment of findings says the root cause runs much deeper. The review concludes that “decades of underinvestment”, alongside public policy choices that favour quarterly results and short-term solutions, have left the system “fragile”.
In response, the administration aims to address four key issues head on, strengthening its position in health and medicine, sustainable and alternative energy, critical mineral mining and processing, and computer chips.
Support domestic production of critical medicines
- A syndicate of public and private entities will jointly work towards manufacturing and onshoring of essential medical suppliers, beginning with a list of 50-100 “critical drugs” defined by the Food and Drug Administration.
- The consortium will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services, which will commit an initial $60m towards the development of a “novel platform technologies to increase domestic manufacturing capacity for API”.
- The aim is to increase domestic production and reduce the reliance upon global supply chains, particularly with regards to medications in short supply.
Secure an end-to-end domestic supply chain for advanced batteries
- The Department of Energy will publish a ‘National Blueprint for Lithium Batteries’, beginning a 10 year plan to "develop a domestic lithium battery supply chain that combats the climate crisis by creating good-paying clean energy jobs across America”.
- The effort will leverage billions in funding “to finance key strategic areas of development and fill deficits in the domestic supply chain capacity”.
Invest in sustainable domestic and international production and processing of critical minerals
- An interdepartmental group will be established by the Department of Interior to identify sites where critical minerals can be produced and processed within US borders. It will collaborate with businesses, states, tribal nations and stockholders to “expand sustainable, responsible critical minerals production and processing in the United States”.
- The group will also identify where regulations may need to be updated to ensure new mining and processing “meets strong standards”.
Partner with industry, allies, and partners to address semiconductor shortages
- The Department of Commerce will increase its partnership with industry to support further investment in R&D and production of semiconductor chips. The White House says its aim will be to “facilitate information flow between semiconductor producers and suppliers and end-users”, improving transparency and data sharing.
- Enhanced relationships with foreign allies, including Japan and South Korea will also be strengthened with the express proposed of increasing chip output, promoting further investment in the sector and “to promote fair semiconductor chip allocations”.