Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Freight and Logistics Outfit and Sports Charity Show the Way to a Better Christmas

Peak Working Means Room for Young Disadvantaged Staff
Shipping News Feature

UK – Christmas is of course a time for charity, but for many logistics outfits, particularly those in the annually expanding home delivery sector, it is also the busiest time of the year. Now one freight operation has explained how it combines the two with over 100 youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds recruited in 2019 mainly to help with peak demand.

That’s the number taken on by DHL Express in collaboration with the DHL UK Foundation and Street League, the UK’s leading sport for employment charity, including 55 of those over the Christmas period. The new recruits will work across DHL Express service centres in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and London to help manage demand and will handle outbound shipments to destinations around the globe.

The new additions, aged 16 to 24, take the overall number enlisted since 2018 since the partnership began, to over 150 with most placements leading to a job offer, with an invaluable reference offered by DHL to those who go on to educational courses or alternative employment. Joe Flack, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Street League said:

“Street League work with young people living in the most disadvantaged areas to tackle youth unemployment. We equip young people with the tools and confidence to succeed and gain employment.”

The partnership gives a lead for others to follow, a good example of the success of the scheme being Chandler Oliver-Thompson, now an Operations Processor at DHL Express, and who was offered a permanent position with the company after he undertook a four-week placement of 100 hours in 2019. Chandler commented:

“I was feeling demotivated about my future job prospects but taking part in Street League really helped me focus on what I wanted to achieve. I have learned new skills, made some new friends and started to earn a regular income.”

Latest figures show that 800,000 young people across the country are not in education employment or training (NEET) with the percentage of unemployed 16-24s higher than the national average. Street League aims to tackle this by breaking down barriers between young people and employers through a combination of confidence-building sport sessions, accredited learning and practical tips like CV writing and interview preparation. Ian Wilson, Chief Executive Officer UK&I at DHL Express observed:

“Being involved with Street League has been incredibly rewarding for us and we welcome the diversity that these young people bring to our teams. We regularly find that, when in the workplace, they can really develop and thrive, and many have gone on to become permanent colleagues within the business.”

Photo: Chandler (in blue) has found a way to get through thanks to the Street League initiative.