Monday, May 9, 2016

Freight and Logistics Report Spurs Ports and Supply Chain Group to Initiate Education Programme

DP World Launches Scheme After MENA Survey Reveals Widespread Ignorance
Shipping News Feature
DUBAI – WORLDWIDE – One of the big problems faced by the logistics industry is one of image, despite the fact the delivery of all goods relies on the freight supply chain, many people simply remain in ignorance of how much this sector affects every aspect of our lives, irrespective of who we are or where we live. Now a survey commissioned by DP World across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has confirmed this widespread misunderstanding of our trade and its role in everyday lives, value to economies and potential as a career option.

DP World hosts a plethora of freight related businesses in its portfolio (no pun intended) including container terminals, specialist vessels, cranage and intermodal services, and the company has determined to launch an international education programme, focusing on trade and logistics to help ensure the future growth of the sector and knowledge of its vital role in providing employment and developing national economies.

DP World employs more than 37,000 people around the world and its Global Education Programme is being launched on 10 May at the Arab Media Forum in Dubai this week. It will be brought to life by volunteer employees working in schools that are local to where it operates across six continents to help boost skills, aspirations and knowledge of the sector amongst young people.

The survey focused on parents of children aged 6 to 14 in the UAE, KSA, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria with responses combined to gain an understanding of the situation across the MENA region. It found that fewer than three in ten parents know what ‘trade and logistics’ means. Knowledge was highest in the UAE, where 40% understood the term, followed by KSA and Egypt (both 28%), Algeria (22%), and Morocco (20%). Respondents also showed considerable misunderstanding over what goods their countries import and export.

The findings of the study are in contrast to the significant contribution trade and logistics makes to national economies and the range of employment opportunities across the supply chain. Parents believed that trade was responsible for 44% of the UAE economy for example but in reality, exports of goods and services alone are greater than that. In 2015, in real terms, they amounted to $264 billion, larger than the size of overall GDP ($258 billion).

Almost half of parents in the region (49%) feel optimistic about their children’s future and yet only 7% said they felt a career in trade and logistics would offer the greatest job prospects for their children. The top 5 industry sectors parents thought offered the best opportunities were Medical / Health Services, IT, Education / Academia, Electronics, and Banking / Finance. However, when ‘trade and logistics’ was explained to parents in the study, 6 out of 10 showed more interest for their children to work in the industry in the future. Parents were more inclined in the UAE (63%), Egypt (62%) and Morocco (62%).

After knowing more about what ‘trade and logistics’ means, 67% then said they believed it is important for children to understand more about the sector themselves. This was highest in Morocco (72%), UAE (71%), Algeria (68%), Egypt (67%), followed by KSA (56%). Group Chairman and CEO of DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, said:

“Trade and logistics oils the wheels of the global economy, enabling countries to grow and develop. Trade has been with us since the dawn of time, it brings us the goods we see in our homes and it provides a range of meaningful and skilled jobs to people of all backgrounds. Those employment opportunities are changing rapidly with new technologies, robotics, automation, big data and the internet of things where new skills are required.

”It is worrying to uncover such deep levels of misunderstanding around the role and value of trade and logistics in all our lives. We want to be part of an industry that is here for the long term and invests in future generations. We believe that our new education programme is essential in boosting the skills and aspirations of young people, as well as in ensuring they understand what trade is and what logistics means, giving them the resources, appetite and skills to become part of its success in the future.”

Full details of DP World Education Programme will be announced at the Arab Media Forum at the Dubai World Trade Centre on May 10.