Monday, December 13, 2021

Freight Forwarding Network Continues to Offer Free Samples of Industry Experience

Youngsters Have the Chance to Get on Board to Upgrade Their Skills
Shipping News Feature

UK – In a year blighted by Covid one might reasonably suspect that any group event dedicated to educating and informing via the normal process of networking with colleagues would be in a depressed state. Fortunately, such is the enthusiasm and drive exhibited by the members and administrators of the British International Freight Association's Young Forwarder Network (YFN) 2021 is ending on a high.

Despite the ravages of the pandemic, meaning all this year’s event have had to be held online, the YFN mustered twenty one virtual events which saw almost 1,400 attendees turning up to join in with such sessions as port tours, talks by recognised industry leaders, and sessions that focus on specific modes of transport, or issues that present challenges and opportunities to companies that manage supply chains.

The YFN was launched in March 2019 to create several regional networking groups, run by young freight forwarders and designed to help early talent and young BIFA members develop their knowledge and professional skills, but in a more social environment. In less than three turbulent years we have witnessed both the pandemic and of course Brexit, perhaps more relevant to the logistics sector than any other.

Despite these factors BIFA has been working flat out to promote the profession and the YFN operates in tandem with its other initiatives, including a recently signed partnership with Think Logistics, to encourage BIFA members to work with schools to promote careers in logistics, forwarding and the supply chain. By 2022 the YFN will have hosted more than one hundred sessions. Carl Hobbis, BIFA executive director, who has management responsibility for BIFA’s training and development services, says:

“When the YFN was launched, we said we thought it would prove to be a major step forward for the industry in developing its future freight forwarding ambassadors and leaders. The young people who are participating in the various events are improving their knowledge of the sector, and the trends that affect it, as well as building their skill sets and learning from others.

“As we aim to achieve that century of events 2022, hopefully, before the end of the next year we will be able to hold some in a face-to-face, more social environment, just like in the first 12 months of the YFN.”

The YFN has proved so far to be an excellent nursery for talent, giving as it does youngsters opportunities to not only hear from experienced industry players, and see the realities of handling freight in real world situations, but to integrate with their peers. Membership is free and open to any employee of a BIFA member. Robert Keen, director general of BIFA looked both back and to the future, when he observed:

“21 events in less than a year is a remarkable achievement and a clear sign of the attraction of the YFN to the younger generation within the freight sector. The YFN is really helping improve the promotion of the profession, making it more attractive to younger people and providing forums from which to learn.

“2022, will see the YFN pass the 100 event milestone since its launch and we now need more BIFA members to take heed of this opportunity by encouraging attendance at YFN events; and making greater efforts to promote the freight forwarding and logistics sector in their locality.”

Currently, all YFN events, which are free, take place mid-week in a virtual environment every two weeks approximately starting at 15:30 and lasting for one hour and details of the next event can be seen HERE.