The new Government must take early action to reduce youth unemployment and to increase investment in the education and training of young people. Youth unemployment is costing the Exchequer at least £10 million per day – over £3.5 billion every year. And with unemployment of 18-24 year olds running at 17.7 per cent, and of 16-17 year olds at a staggering 35.1 per cent, there is a real danger of creating a ‘lost generation’, resulting in both economic and social consequences, and wasting the talents, prospects and aspirations of thousands of youngsters. The vital transport sector provided special opportunities across a wide range of jobs.
These comments were made by Sir Moir Lockhead OBE, Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of FirstGroup, in London today (Friday 7 May), on his installation as President of the 19,000 member Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) (CILT). Sir Moir succeeded Graeme McFaull of Wincanton plc as CILT President.
Sir Moir said that it was imperative that both the nation, and the transport sector, continued to invest in the education and training of young people. He said ‘The transport sector and CILT members play a key role in keeping the UK economy moving, bringing communities together, delivering goods, and helping society to reduce its impact on the environment. In my view, there has never been a better time for youngsters to enter our absolutely essential industry. But, despite the obvious pressures on public spending, we need to ensure that the new Government does not allow the economic downturn to further affect a whole generation of young people.’
The CILT would be playing its part, alongside the Government, in creating new opportunities for young people. CILT would be engaging with partners in order to build programmes for schools, colleges and universities, to ensure that students were aware of opportunities in transport and logistics, and know where to go to build skills and interest.
Sir Moir said that CILT would be working with its members in order to raise awareness of how skills development could improve their business operation and helping them to understand what programmes were available and how they are funded. He said ‘We will work with our key education partners to build the training and development programmes that help produce skilled and enthusiastic people for the transport and logistics industry.’
Sir Moir will hold the role as President for the next twelve months.
Former Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport Sir David Rowlands was guest speaker at the event.