Thursday, May 10, 2018

Push for More Skilled Freight and Logistics Staff in the Supply Chain at Materials Handling Event  

2019 Exhibition Will See Combined Effort to Recruit Youngsters for a Career

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Shipping News Feature UK – Anyone and everyone involved in the British freight industry is aware of the skills gap and paucity of suitable labour, and now career opportunities within the logistics and supply chain sectors available to graduates and school leavers are to be highlighted by a dedicated Skills Zone at next year's International Materials Handling Exhibition (IMHX 2019 - NEC, Birmingham, 24-27 September 2019).

The Skills Zone will provide a unique opportunity fo young people to participate in a range of interactive features that demonstrate the diverse career options that logistics offers. It is being delivered in partnership with The Big Bang Near Me - organiser of a programme of UK-wide events designed to encourage students to become interested in science, technology and engineering and Think Logistics - a sector-led initiative that aims to redefine the image of working in logistics. Rob Fisher, IMHX 2019 Event Director, commented:

“The Skills Zone at IMHX 2019 will bridge the gap between young people looking for a rewarding career and logistics companies seeking talented individuals capable of moving the profession forward. We know that there is a demographic time bomb in the logistics sector, so attracting talent into logistics is essential for the long-term prosperity of the sector.”

The Skills Zone, delivered by Big Bang Near Me and Think Logistics, is supported by a number of key stakeholders, including the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), NOVUS and the British Industrial Truck Association (BITA). Bethany Fovargue, Operations Manager at NOVUS, said:

“The logistics sector employs a total of 2.35 million people in the UK, either directly or indirectly. That’s a huge number, accounting for nearly 8% of the UK workforce. With demand on the logistics sector forecast to grow significantly in the coming years, employers need to have the best talent on board. That is proving quite a challenge.

“The transport, logistics and supply chain sectors need ever-increasing and changing skills to keep Britain moving. The IMHX 2019 Skills Zone will aim to show young people just how attractive supply chain operations can be and, by doing so, encourage them to consider embarking on a career in the sector.”

Andy Kaye, who is both Chair of NOVUS and the Chief Executive of Bis Henderson, specialists when it comes to placing staff within the industry, pointed out the breadth of opportunity within it, saying:

“One of the main reasons why not enough young people consider a career in logistics is perception. If you look at how the profession is perceived, particularly by young people, it is seen as quite industrial and poorly paid, as well as unskilled. Young people believe that working in logistics will only involve wearing high visibility jackets, protective boots, or driving a lorry!

“Logistics isn’t just about driving, there’s a long list of roles that are essential to the supply chain, such as materials planning, production, transport management, purchasing and operational management. As a sector, we need to re-educate this generation on the vast, fulfilling logistics careers that are out there. As the leading event serving the sector, IMHX has an important role to play in helping employers connect with the country’s most talented graduates and school leavers and the IMHX 2019 Skills Zone has been set up to help with this re-education programme.”

Sponsored by Investec Asset Finance plc, IMHX claims to be the largest and longest running exhibition in the UK for the logistics and supply chain industries attracting over 400 exhibitors across four halls of the National Exhibition Centre, in Birmingham. For more information on how your company can get involved in the IMHX 2019 Skills Zone, contact Rob Fisher by telephone on +44 (0) 207 017 6986 or by email at rob.fisher@informa.com.

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