Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Twin Pronged Attack on Skilled HGV and Logistics Staff Shortage by Freight Transport Group

FTA Demands Formal Qualifications Whilst Holding a Summit open to All to Review Lack of Capable Drivers
Shipping News Feature

UK – With the skills shortage in the haulage and logistics sector an ever increasing concern across the supply chain, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has been doing all it can to ‘fill the void’ of skills development in the industry. The organisation has launched a two pronged attack recently including a forthcoming summit for road haulage operators and a scheme the FTA hopes will attract young people to the logistics sector with the provision of a nationally recognised qualification across a range of professions, by partnering with vocational education organisation, City & Guilds.

The FTA has said that it believes that the logistics industry has long been ‘overlooked by government’ by way of funding to support vocational training because of the absence of a nationally recognised qualification framework. James Hookham, FTA Managing Director of Policy and Communications said:

“The logistics sector has been overlooked by government for too long for skills funding, partly because it lacks a national vocational training structure or recognised qualification structure. FTA’s partnership with City & Guilds will aim to deliver that and help fill the void in skills development opportunities in the logistics sector.

“The FTA is delighted to be working with City & Guilds, through this unique partnership we will provide learning excellence with vocational training industry standards which will help bring the logistics sector in to the 21st century.”

As a leading vocational education and training organisation, City & Guilds internationally recognised qualifications help individuals develop their talents and abilities for future progression, and will provide learning excellence across a wide range of skills in the logistics sector. The first of the FTA – City & Guilds qualifications will be for Commercial Vehicle Fleet Management and a level 3 qualification, equivalent to current Transport Manager CPC, will be launched during 2015.

The FTA and City & Guilds will be announcing development of further qualifications for the logistics industry during 2015. In the meantime the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on Thursday 12 March 2015 is the venue set for a unique free FTA Summit concentrating on the shortage of qualified and experienced HGV drivers with an intention to review the current position, discuss what can be done and learn from experiences and best practice across the industry and around the world.

This is a FREE TO ATTEND freight transport industry event but places must be booked in advance, it is open to members and non-members of the FTA, and up to 500 road haulage delegates are expected to attend.

The outline programme for the summit includes a myriad sessions to be covered on what is likely to be a very intense day including:

• How big is the problem? - Driver demographics – how many drivers will we need and by when? - What will be the skill sets of professional drivers in the future?

• How was your Christmas? - Real experiences shared from operators in different sectors of the industry

• Perceptions of driving- What are government perceptions of professional driving? - What help and support is already available and how do we access it - What more needs to be done?

• Breaking down the barriers - How do we minimize other barriers to putting drivers on the road? - Insurance costs, medicals, driver licensing; driving test slots

• Retaining those currently driving - How to keep the drivers you currently have? - How to recruit and retain drivers? - What do drivers want? - How do we improve facilities for drivers?

• Broadening the appeal of driving - Reaching out to women - Will foreign drivers come to our rescue again? - Armed forces redeployment opportunities

• Tapping into funding - A guide to funding sources and how to access them - JobCentre+ funding - Extension of student loans to vocational training

Delegates attending the event will receive practical advice on dealing with driver shortage issues; discover how to access and apply for government funding and learn from other operators experiences.

Speakers and programme topics will be confirmed here.

Photo: Empty cabs may be the order of the day unless the driver situation improves.