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CHINA and UK partnership to increase employment and logistics skills

Skills for Logistics, Milton Keynes, 5 April. Skills for Logistics (SfL), The British Council and the China Federation for Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) will host a delegation of 20 logistics and educational officials from China on 8-12 April 2013. During the visit, the delegation will learn how the government and the UK Logistics Sector have invested heavily over the past 20 years to develop its skills and training infrastructure.

This reciprocal visit follows on from the China Logistics Vocational Education Annual Conference, held in China in October 2012, where Skills for Logistics, The British Council and CFLP agreed a programme of co-operative projects. At its fulcrum was a partnership between industry-led consortia from both countries to provide support for co-operative projects for occupational standards, curriculum mapping, qualifications, apprenticeships and teacher / student exchanges.

This partnership between The British Council / Skills for Logistics / China Federation for Logistics and Purchasing, which is the first ever between Sector Skills Councils and professional organisations in the UK and China, will increase youth employment and create prosperity in both countries.

This cooperation provides China with a platform to learn from the UK’s world class TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training), system. It will be able to import advanced vocational education to improve training and the quality of the workforce in China.

Dr Mick Jackson, CEO of Skills for Logistics commented: "By positioning the UK as a cutting edge thought leader in the field of TVET, this partnership makes the UK a more attractive place for Chinese people to do business with, UK qualifications more attractive for Chinese learners and employers, and UK colleges a more attractive overseas study destination for young people in China.

"The UK can learn from the areas where China excels, to increase the skill level of our students and create a more competitive workforce. By providing a platform to benchmark the UK’s TVET system against China’s, this partnership allows education institutions and businesses in the UK and China to easily appraise the skill level of students and skilled workers from both countries. This will facilitate greater student and employee mobility, encourage a more efficient allocation of human resources and strengthen both countries’ workforces."

Dr Jackson concluded: "Cooperation on vocational education in the Logistics Sector between China and UK will consolidate trust between the two countries, encouraging further future mutually beneficial exchanges. It will lead to greater inward and outward student mobility, giving students direct exposure to and knowledge of what will soon be the largest economy in the world."

The delegation will review the history of the UK Logistics Sector’s current training, vocational, education and skills systems, the development of National Occupational Standards and the reasons why government and UK industry has invested heavily in skills over the past 20 years.

During visits to logistics facilities run by DHL, Ceva Logistics, TNT and Unipart Logistics the delegation will gain an insight into apprenticeships and how the sector attracts, inducts and trains new entrants. The visit will also showcase live assessments and provide an insight into Skills for Logistics, the Professional Development Stairway and the options available in Higher Level Apprenticeships, Diplomas and Foundation Degrees. They will also visit Universities and Colleges – including Coventry University; Derby University and Pembroke College, Oxford – to see how skills and qualification programmes are designed to meet the needs of companies and individuals.

Commenting on the importance of an Industry-led Consortia Partnership, Susan Milner, Director Education at the British Council China, said: "Sino-UK cooperation on vocational education has deepened significantly over recent years. The involvement of industry in the development of occupational standards, curriculum design and work-based learning in the UK system has much to offer China as it moves towards industry demand led vocational education."

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