Thursday, May 10, 2012

Logistics Groups Take Staff Recruitment and Training Seriously

PD Ports and DSV Encouraged by Apprenticeship Schemes
Shipping News Feature

UK – Each week we hear of more freight organisations signing up to apprenticeship schemes and the news is particularly welcome when the company operates in a region renown for its lack of employment opportunities for young people. At last week’s Multimodal Exhibition two logistics companies in different parts of the industry told how the training and recruitment schemes they had implemented over the past few years had proved a huge success.

North Eastern based PD Ports created a two year foundation degree specific to the ports industry, and its business in particular, to help secure its workforce of tomorrow. So far, 30 people had participated in the scheme, which involves external lectures, work placement and internal training. David Wilson, HR Development Manager, PD Ports commented:

“Our dock operator apprentice programme was specifically designed to offer job opportunities to those who are long term unemployed or who have never worked. Teesside has one of the highest levels of unemployment in the country and some people join the scheme from families that are third generation unemployed. As a consequence, the company wanted to offer these people an opportunity before they became part of the lost generation.”

Things seem to be going well for the port operator and tomorrow the first steel slabs from the new SSI UK operation will begin loading at Teeside on a vessel bound for Thailand with the inaugural shipment. It is anticipated that the vessel will leave Teesport for Thailand on Tuesday 15th May with its cargo of 48,000 tonnes of steel slabs, valued at circa $30million.

The other announcement in Birmingham came from DSV Road which had launched a graduate recruitment programme and an apprentice scheme to help recruit 12 young and enthusiastic members of sales staff last year which we wrote of at the time, and since February last year it has recruited 24 other apprentices for a variety of roles, from customer service to warehouse operatives.

Both the apprentices and graduates attend training programmes, with apprentices leaving with an NVQ qualification, and to date, all 12 of the graduates are still working at DSV, while 18 of the apprentices are still at DSV and four have been placed in full time positions. Chris Malyon, Director of Sales and Marketing, DSV Road Limited said:

“It’s maybe too early in the process to say we would only recruit graduates in the future, but it would certainly take a lot of consideration to recruit anyone other than graduates into sales positions for DSV Road Limited in the UK.

“Meanwhile, the apprentices are highly motivated and well trained individuals. Also, we have the benefit of gaining members of staff that will seize the opportunity to train and move up through the organisation. So there are certainly a lot of benefits to these types of scheme.”

DSV and PD Ports have realised the importance of securing competent staff at a time when competition within the industry is liable to be even fiercer than ever whilst acknowledging the need to lay the foundations for growth and both Mr Malyon and Mr Wilson agreed that staff training was also important, as it helped to increase retention of staff by creating progression within the organisations whilst proving to customers that both companies took customer service seriously.

Photo: The first steel slabs en route to Thailand via Teeside.