Closing the skills gap the logistics industry faces is the responsibility of every operator, writes Think Logistics founder and Abbey Logistics group CEO Steve Granite.
Think Logistics is the industry-led, not-for-profit project involving some of the UK’s best-known transport and logistics companies, and we are calling on all logistics companies to get behind the initiative in 2019.
We need more support by operators offering internships or work placements to students, and introduce them to an exciting and rewarding career in logistics.
Internships are four-week positions, usually paid at minimum wage levels in which a young person is fully integrated into a company to gain a solid understanding of a number of roles.
Alongside internships, Think Logistics is also looking for supporters to provide work placements for students which are one-week unpaid placements and generally aimed at students soon to be leaving education and looking for vital experience in the world of work.
For this latest round of placements, Think Logistics are looking for companies based in Grimsby, Mansfield, Swadlincote, Leicester, York, North Shields, Stockton on Tees, Sutton Coldfield, Warrington, Sheffield and Hinckley.
Employers receive support from Think Logistics’ delivery partner, the charity Career Ready, whose team of regional managers work with both employers and students to ensure they are properly prepared for the world of work experience.
In just five years, Think Logistics has brought together more than 40 leading companies to join its delivery group, including DHL, Volvo Trucks, Microlise, DAF, Royal Mail and the National Logistics Academy and Abbey Logistics as well industry bodies including the CILT, the FTA and the RHA.
But there are thousands more logistics companies throughout the UK that should join the initiative to provide the much-needed support required to satisfy the demand from students keen to learn about the industry.
In 2018 Think Logistics secured additional funding, which it hopes will help its ambitious plans to grow over the next three years.
Growth will be measured by the number of young people Think Logistics can reach through workshops, internships, mentoring, work placements and masterclasses and to achieve this it is calling on the industry to provide the support required to find the next generation of transport planners, directors, fitters, HR managers, accountants, drivers, marketers and the countless other career paths available in the sector.
The logistics industry is facing a skills shortfall, and no one is going to wave a magic wand and make the skills gap go away. It is up to us as an industry to proactively get out and tell young people that there are genuinely exciting and fulfilling opportunities available in our sector and we know that through the right support and guidance, young people can thrive in the industry and achieve great things.
Think Logistics enjoys the support of over 40 companies who are active in the sector, and we are saying to those companies not involved that we need their support to provide internships and work placements.
We know from the companies that have hosted interns and work placements that they have seen big benefits from the experience such as extra resource, management training, and fresh ideas the students bring to a company adds real value to the experience, and all companies that have hosted are always keen to host more interns and work placements.
We are confident that once a company experiences the benefits of hosting an intern or a work placement, they will be eager to continue to support in the future, helping provide the next generation with the skills and experience our sector needs.