Kirklees College is offering a new Apprenticeship in Supply Chain Management – the only course of its kind in England.
The Level 3 course, which is launching next month at the college’s Process Manufacturing Centre, has been designed to meet a skills gap identified by employers.
Head of Process Manufacturing and Engineering at Kirklees College Brian Lawson said: “Supply Chain has been recognised as one of the most important aspects of a business. Unfortunately it has been the least well supported in terms of professional qualifications, which has led to a nationwide skills shortage.
“There is definitely a need for this Apprenticeship in England. We are really excited to be offering this new course and aiming to become a Centre of Excellence for Supply Chain Management.
“For a business to succeed they have to fully understand their supply chain – it’s not just about getting the right products at the right time to the right location to meet customer needs. Also data and financial information needs to flow – get it wrong and you could be losing a lot of money.
“It’s important for business strategy that anyone working within the supply chain to knows how it works and how their role fits into the company as a whole. If everyone is working in a silo the supply chain won’t function as it should.
“It is such an important aspect for any firm, whether they are a manufacturing company making and distributing their own products or even internet based firms like Amazon or ASOS that are purely supply chain firms.”
The first cohort starting in October will include apprentices from Nestle as well as local employers. We anticipate if further demand a January 2018 start.
Nestle Apprentice Manager Chris Atkinson said “After much research into the options in the areas around our various sites, Kirklees College was chosen as the provider to take us to the next level across our different Apprenticeship programmes.
“At a national level Nestlé has recognised that the versatility of the college was exactly the right match for our business, and our relationship is already yielding successes we are keen to continue.”
Higher education providers – including the University Huddersfield (Novus) – are already offering supply chain management at degree level, so it is hoped the course can feed directly into that, providing knowledge at a more basic skills level.
The course covers all processes within the supply chain including forecasting, customer demand, product sourcing, procurement, customer service and distribution.
It will include visits to industry, guest speakers, and use of realistic work simulations and exercises within the Process Manufacturing plant. It can also include behavioural development with the possibility of an outward bound experience through the Outward Bound Trust to work on communication and teamwork skills.
The college can arrange accommodation for students on the course, meaning companies from all over England can send their employees for training in Huddersfield.
Because the Apprenticeship is based on the Government’s new Standards, it also means the course can be tailored to be more bespoke to a company’s specific skills needs.
Since the introduction of the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy earlier this year, companies have a financial incentive to train new or existing staff through Apprenticeships.
And smaller companies who are not required to pay the Levy can get 90 per cent of an Apprenticeship funded by the Government.
For more information, businesses can contact the Kirklees College Employer Engagement Team on 0800 781 3020.