Friday, September 10, 2010

Logistics Group Members Demand Freight And Shipping Training Support

CILT Want Education and Apprenticeships for Continuity in Transport
Shipping News Feature

UK – Today as we saw announcements of the initial public sector savings to be made after 100,000 people put forward their own ideas to Government, and whilst all industries await nervously the full details of the Coalition’s proposed spending cuts, comes a call from the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) for attention to be given to ensure the nation maintains a supply of competent fork lift truck and HGV drivers, warehousemen, shipping staff and freight handling personnel.

During the past seven days, CILT have asked their members, all logistics and transport professionals, academics and managers, to complete a survey regarding the future of the transport industry. Over 90% of respondents said that the Government must fund more places at higher education institutions and should create more apprenticeship opportunities.

Delivering a key speech at the 2010 Logistics Research Network (LRN) conference hosted by the University of Leeds, and to an audience containing many of the Europe’s leading academics and practitioners in transport and logistics Sir Moir Lockhead OBE, CEO of First Group and President of CILT, said:

“Funding more places at higher education institutions, and therefore enhancing the skills needs required for economic growth and reducing the burden on an already pressurised job market, is of greater benefit than increasing the number of unemployed school leavers. CILT members support this approach.

“We’ve been asking them some key questions about this crucial issue over the past few days and to date over 90 per cent have said that providing sufficient full-time undergraduate places for UK students is important to economic recovery – in fact one third of those said that it was essential.

“We believe that an additional 30,000 student places could be created utilising existing physical and teaching resources, without adding to cost of such resources or diluting the quality of teaching. CILT believes that we cannot afford a’ lost generation’ either in terms of financial cost or the skills loss. We will now take these views to Government and ask it to look again at what can be done to support our young people.”

In 2007 the Prince’s Trust published research which showed that the productivity cost to the economy as a result of youth unemployment amounted to a staggering £10 million each day – over £3.5 billion per year.

The survey also revealed that the top priority for 52 per cent of CILT members was to encourage jointly funded Government/industry initiatives to increase apprenticeships. And 41 per cent said that current apprenticeship funding must be ring-fenced in order to provide for the forthcoming skills shortages which had been identified within the transport industry.