Thursday, September 27, 2018

New Logistics Apprenticeship Scheme Aims to Eliminate Freight Sector Skills Shortage

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IRELAND – The Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) has launched Ireland's first ever Logistics Apprenticeship aimed at addressing the skills gap in the industry while providing 'earn as you learn' opportunities to school leavers and mature students. Logistics and freight distribution companies from across Ireland have long warned that an acute shortage of qualified logistics workers could lead to significant disruption in the sector, and now coupled with the several issues surrounding the Brexit negotiations, the need to find and train the next generation of qualified workers has never seemed so important. Speaking at the launch, Declan Allen, Assistant Head of the School of Management said:

“The Logistics Associate Apprenticeship, developed by DIT in conjunction with an industry-led consortium, is in response to a report published by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs in 2015 which found the sector would need up to 15,500 extra skilled workers by 2020. Apprentices work four days a week and then spend a day in DIT College of Business on Aungier Street.

“Over the two-year programme, students will develop the skills necessary for Logistics Associates, who are responsible for coordinating the movement of goods in a company, including the planning and coordinating of all warehousing and transportation activities in the supply chain.”

Aidan Flynn, General Manager at the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) and Chair of the Logistics Associate Apprenticeship Consortium, is confident the new enterprise-led apprenticeship will alleviate any skills shortage in the sector, commenting at the official launch:

“In recent years, our industry has struggled with a widespread skills shortage, and we are also facing an uncertain future with Brexit on the horizon. Regardless of the outcome of negotiations, there is likely to be a divergence in UK and EU regulations increasing the cost of transporting goods and the level of paperwork required to do so.

”The Logistics Associate Apprenticeship launched today will provide the industry with a fresh cohort of graduates equipped with the knowledge required to maintain supply chains and the steady distribution of goods to wholesalers, retailers and consumers across the country.”

The Logistics Associate Apprenticeship was announced by the Ministers Richard Burton TD and John Halligan TD last year as part of the government’s Action Plan for Education. The plan aims to double the number of new apprentices registered to 9,000 by 2020 and expand further into new areas. 18 employers and 26 apprentices from across the Freight, Transport, Distribution and Logistics sector are participating in the programme and during his speech at the launch event, Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan TD said:

"Employer buy-in is critical as the apprenticeship model is dependent on employers taking on apprentices. It is essential that key stakeholders continue to build on existing and foster new relationships within the enterprise community and that all sectors of the economy embrace the challenge to develop new apprenticeships."

Photo: Apprentices Dylan Moloney (Harris Group) and Rachel Slater (Kuehne + Nagel) pictured with Minister of State for Training and Skills John Halligan TD