Friday, November 5, 2021

As the Dust Settles on Multimodal Next Year Wil be All About Youth

Exhibition Aims to Boost Input Into the Profession
Shipping News Feature

UK – Following the three day 2021 Multimodal Exhibition at the Birmingham NEC which, despite the continued rumblings of the pandemic attracted over 7,200 visitors to the stalls of 162 exhibitors, some real effort is going into the continued push to attract more young talent into the freight and logistics profession.

After some inspirational work from the likes of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) whose seminar, featuring Director Carl Hobbis and a panel of young freight forwarders who shared their experiences of joining the industry with an audience of employers and students, focused on apprenticeships, the Multimodal team has decided to target the same problem.

Multimodal is teaming up with education charity Career Colleges Trust (CCT) and will put young talent at the 2022 show, scheduled for 14-16 June, giving CCT seminar platforms to speak to employers and students, and supporting its plans to develop a cluster of Further Education (FE) colleges offering a dedicated logistics programme.

The success of the BIFA Young Forwarder Network and the comments made by the youngsters clearly had an affect of the thinking of Multimodal director Robert Jervis, who commented afterwards:

“It was truly inspirational to hear from our young freight professionals, and what came across loud and clear was the fantastic and interesting opportunities they feel logistics has to offer, as well as career progression and stability. But the message was also that they had fallen into the industry rather than knowing about it beforehand, and that has to change.

“Multimodal is in a unique position to champion the logistics sector, bringing together all sections of the supply chain, and, by working with organisations like CCT, we can make a tangible difference for a better future.”

CCT has eight colleges already involved in the development of its new Logistics Programme, seven of which are recruiting students for a September 2022 start. Its vision, supported by Multimodal, is to have a Logistics Career College in all areas with high logistics skills demands, and, at the least, a college attached to each of the new UK Freeports. Rachel May, Director of Employer Involvement, CCT observed:

“The Career Colleges Trust is delighted to join up with Multimodal to push forward with our plans to develop a cluster of FE colleges across the UK to deliver a Logistics and International Supply Chain Management Programme to secure skills and career opportunities for young people. Working with employers, we hope to build a talent pipeline of future employees to close the skills gaps in a key sector for the UK economy.”

CCT colleges involved in the Logistics Programme to date include Eastleigh, Coleg Gwent, Hugh Baird, Pembrokeshire College, City College Plymouth, South Essex, Stockton Riverside College and West Suffolk. To find out more about the CCT Logistics Programme, contact or visit the CCT website.

Despite fears that the pandemic might keep Multimodal visitor numbers down this year, plus a concern that after last year’s show was cancelled perhaps people might break the habit of attending, both the show and the Multimodal Awards, hosted by football legend Kevin Keegan, were as popular as ever. The Awards saw an attendance of 840 guests, who gave generously to a raffle and auction raising a record-breaking £14,315 for charity Transaid.

The success of the exhibition with its attendant seminars at which Delegates heard from 80 thought leaders on topics from Brexit survival strategies, to digitisation, UK Freeports, and the impact of 5G on efficiencies at ports, can be judged by the fact that 50% of this year’s exhibitors have already booked for next year.

Photo: Members of BIFA's Young Forwarder Network gave their thoughts on the industry at Multimodal 2021. Left to right: Chloe Melloy, Freight Forwarding Apprentice, DSV Air & Sea Ltd, Georgia Sumner, Air Freight Exports Apprentice, DHL Global Forwarding (UK), Katie-Louise Thompson-Friend, Customer Service - Account Manager, Woodland, Ryan Wilkes, Tender Specialist, Kuehne + Nagel, and Jac Kearsley, Key Account Operator, DB Schenker.