Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Training for a Logistics or Supply Chain Career Now Recognised as Essential

From Container Shipping Lines to Insurers - Globally the Need for New Blood is Being Acknowledged
Shipping News Feature

SOUTH AFRICA – UK – NORWAY – One of the best features of the modern logistics industry is that it is finally being recognised as a viable career, something which, due to the diverse nature of operations which form the supply chain, has not always been the case. Globally many freight and shipping companies have prioritised training for potential future employees and our picture shows Grade 10 and 11 students at Simon’s Town School’s Lawhill Maritime Centre in South Africa commemorating World Maritime Day on 25 September with a light hearted Lego building competition. The Maersk Line Triple E Lego ship models were donated by container carrier Safmarine, Lawhill’s founding sponsor.

For the past 18 years the Centre has successfully increased the post-school employment prospects of its students by providing them with maritime knowledge and skills while they are at school and by the end of 2014 Lawhill will have three of its former students, all of whom were previously unaware of the maritime industry when they joined Lawhill, as internationally qualified shipmasters. Because Lawhill receives no state funding, its students, the majority of whom come from financially-stressed homes, are reliant on bursaries provided by maritime and related industries and individuals to fund their education and boarding at Lawhill from Grade 10 - 12.

Lawhill’s effectiveness in helping to address youth unemployment and poverty in South Africa has been recognised both in South Africa and internationally, with several awards including The ‘Lloyds List Salute to Youth and Training’ Award (London, 1999), the international Seatrade ‘Investment in Youth’ Award (London, 2012) and a Platinum Award from the Impumelelo Social Innovation Centre (Cape Town, 2013).

In the UK, Davies Turner & Co Ltd has recruited youngsters for its national apprenticeship and trainee programme for the fifth year in succession. The new intake of 10 recruits will be based at the company’s main hubs throughout the UK, and will undertake an 18 month long apprenticeship with the leading independent forwarding and logistics provider, followed by an accredited in-house multimodal training course, delivered by UK trade association, the British International Freight Association (BIFA).

The company’s National Apprenticeship programme sees participants, A-level school leavers and graduates looking to make their first career move in the international freight and logistics industry, spend time in all surface freight and logistics divisions as well as getting an overview at Davies Turner Air Cargo, central administration and the accounts departments. Group Chairman, Philip Stephenson says all will benefit from the mostly in-house training that provides the perfect foundation for a career in supply chain management. He continues:

"The latest set of 10 trainees have excellent grades and degrees. They will be joining us at an exciting time as global recovery powers the freight industry, and we are preparing to expand further our portfolio of services for British exporters and importers, as well as making major investments both in our network of purpose-built warehouses throughout the UK and Ireland, and in our IT infrastructure. The scheme has been a resounding success and the trainees that have already completed their apprenticeships have moved into positions of real responsibility at quite an early stage in their careers. This is important for staff motivation and mutual respect as well as long-term loyalty.

"This scheme is proving to be a win-win both for the trainees and Davies Turner. The youngsters will gain a secure foothold in the industry as well as expertise in multimodal freight forwarding and logistics, whilst we are gaining energetic, highly motivated and forward-thinking staff to drive our business into the future. We are also investing in training of existing staff and have developed 30 training modules – internal and external – for staff to complete. The number of modules undertaken depends on employee job function and skills requirements.”

Meanwhile across the North Sea marine insurer Gard has been awarded the first annual YoungShip Young Corporation Award for the company’s work in promoting young employee development. As a nation in which all things maritime tend to be recognised as key contributors to the economy and as strategic industries in themselves there is a desire to stay ahead of the pack with regard to attracting the best young talent, both domestically and at an international level.

As an organisation for young professionals, YoungShip recognise that many companies already go the extra mile to promote young talents though trainee programmes, international assignments and exciting career opportunities. To support these companies and young professionals in the maritime industry, YoungShip International has launched the annual Young Corporation Award.

The award will go to companies in the international maritime industry that excel in areas such as promoting young leaders, devoting time and resources to building youth competence and investing in training whilst supporting initiatives within the maritime community that promote young talent. Candidates for the 2014 award were nominated by young maritime executives from all over Norway, culminating in a prestigious short-list. This year’s nominees are well-recognised companies within their segments: North Atlantic Drilling, DOF. Gard, Robert Allen Ltd., Vard, Vroon Ship Management, Skuld and Subsea7.

Of these, three candidates were short-listed by the jury: Gard, Robert Allen Ltd. and DOF with Gard going on to take the prize. The award was presented during this year’s international YoungShip conference, ShipCon, held in Ålesund on the 26th of September. The ceremony was combined with the opening of the GCE BLUE Maritime annual conference. This year`s winner established the Claes Isacson Scholarship for maritime education in 2013. This scholarship, awarded annually, helps young people to finance an education at the university level. They also have a ‘best student’ prize, which is awarded to the student achieving the highest marks in the study of Carriage of Goods by Sea at the Institute of Maritime Law, University of Southampton.

For the past three years, the winner of the Young Corporation Award has supported the World Maritime University through a sponsorship aiming to educate students from developing countries within the maritime industry. Over the past years they have also played a key role in supporting their local YoungShip branch. The importance of young employees in the winning company is evident in the words of Managing Director Andre Krineberg:

“We need to make sure we are able to retain and recruit talented people, and through our sponsorships, we are able to share knowledge and expertise among the wider shipping community.”