Tuesday, April 4, 2017

British Government Green Light Freight Forwarder Apprenticeship Scheme

Move Welcomed by Industry Representatives
Shipping News Feature
UK – A group of employers from within the UK's freight and logistics industry has been given the green light by the UK Department for Education to develop the standard for a specific International Freight Forwarding Operative apprenticeship. For years now interested parties from across the supply chain have been calling on the UK government to address the chronic shortage of skilled workers within the sector, and with increasing pressures on the industry to deliver goods to increasingly tight timescales, the need for skilled HGV drivers only becomes more evident, with estimates that there could be up to 35,000 vacancies for trained operators across the country.

The employer group, known as a 'Trailblazer', submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) in January and will now need to produce standards and a blueprint detailing what the apprenticeship will encompass. This Trailblazer group from the freight industry actually consists of 38 companies and is led by Kuehne + Nagel. Jon Hettrick, HR director, Kuehne + Nagel said:

“Developing talent is a focus area for us at K&N, and we are pleased to be the lead employer on this vital industry initiative. The whole sector can benefit from training and development provision that delivers the specialist knowledge and skills we use every day in freight forwarding. We are committed to supporting the group with the necessary resource to deliver an Apprenticeship Standard that will give us that.”

Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), which has been actively encouraging the Trailblazer group, added:

“I’ve said before that we need to attract more young people to the industry, so this decision is a significant milestone.

“There is still a lot of work to do, but BIFA will continue to support the group wholeheartedly, and provide resources to help develop an apprenticeship that is relevant to the day-to-day work of a freight forwarder. With customs legislation getting more complex, and the unknown landscape post-Brexit, it will be even more important to promote careers in our industry in many ways – what better than a relevant apprenticeship.”