Tuesday, April 24, 2018

UK Freight Forwarding Finally Gets Apprenticeship Scheme for a Career in Logistics

Official Approval for Qualification After Much Work from Industry Stakeholders
Shipping News Feature
UK – At long last Britain has its own the International Freight Forwarding Specialist apprenticeship following recognition from the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) after a lot of work from shipping and logistics industry stakeholders to produce a recognisable qualification. Set at Level 3 (A Level) with a minimum duration of 18 months, the new apprenticeship will provide students with core knowledge and skills including; industry awareness, customs procedures and commercial skills.

The IfA has now granted final approval of the course assessment plan, which means that the apprenticeship scheme is now available for delivery. At the beginning of the programme, apprentices will also be given one of three pathways; air freight, ocean freight or road freight, to reflect the focus of freight forwarders’ operations. Whichever pathway apprentices take, specific knowledge and skills will be acquired in addition to the three mandatory modules.

The trailblazer group which developed the standard included the British International Freight Association (BIFA) and a host of well-known industry names including Kuehne + Nagel, Davies Turner, DHL, Metro Shipping, Hellmann, Neon Freight, OIA Global, DSV Air & Sea, Dachser, DB Schenker, Panalpina, Intelligent Global Logistics, Maltacourt and Yusen Logistics.

The timing of the scheme is particularly relevant as the UK enters a post European Union future, a point picked up by Carl Hobbis, BIFA's training development manager, who commented:

“This really is great news and a significant milestone and will definitely help us to attract more young people to the industry. With customs legislation getting more complex, and the unknown landscape post-Brexit, it will be even more important to promote careers in our industry in many ways, and there’s no better way than through a relevant apprenticeship, which we now have. It is a feather in the cap of those in the trailblazer group, which has been resolute in recognising the importance and potential value of a relevant apprenticeship that is specific to the forwarding sector.

”The trailblazer group has worked hard to demonstrate to the Department of Education (DoE) and IfA that the processing of international trade documentation is vital to the UK economy and the demand for international trade skills is forecast to rise. The new apprenticeship will give new entrants a valuable structure for their learning, whilst helping to close the skills gap and address the acute staff shortage faced by the sector. BIFA will now help to promote the availability of the new apprenticeship and encourage employers and potential entrants to consider this apprenticeship as a route into the industry.”

The need to attract more quality staff to the ‘invisible’ industry has never been greater and the qualification which a completed apprenticeship offers is designed to ensure that students obtain transferrable skills to ensure they remain and prosper within a logistics sector career. Full details of the new apprenticeship can be found on the IfA website HERE whilst the assessment plan can be accessed HERE.