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Enthusiastic response to Military Work Placement Scheme

Skills for Logistics reports fantastic enthusiasm for the Military Work Placement Scheme launched last November to fund companies to provide nearly 1000 work placements to ex-forces personnel into 2013. The current ratio of 30 per cent job offers to placement represents a significant endorsement of the Scheme by employers. These jobs range from senior director positions through operations management to driving.

The government-funded Military Work Placement Scheme (MWPS) was launched formally at the Imperial War Museum with employers, representatives of the military and Stephen Hammond MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport in attendance.

Mick Jackson, CEO of Skills for Logistics, reports: "We are seeing fantastic enthusiasm for the MWPS following its formal launch. We have received enormous support from employers with over 2000 registers placements. Companies include Kuehne + Nagel, TNT, Norbert Dentressangle, Boots and DHL. Employers clearly want to get involved in the scheme and have access to the excellent resource offered by men and women leaving the armed forces. There is demand for work placement opportunities across the whole spectrum of logistics roles, from warehousing to driving; traffic office to import/export."

He added: "Creative and real value adding solutions are being driven by large logistics companies, which have allowed us to get a real feel for how we can better engage military leavers in Industry. This pilot scheme ends on 31 March and we see enormous benefit for a longer term scheme from April."

Jackson continued: "Alongside the large companies wishing to get involved in the scheme, we are also building on work that we have carried out in local areas with local hauliers and logistics operations. The Logistics Sector as a whole has a requirement for skilled labour, particularly to fill acute driver shortages; skilled labour exists within the Armed Forces but does not or cannot transfer effectively into civilian job roles. It is this market failure the scheme seeks to address. This programme is well on the way to transforming our sector by providing a bridge between employers and skilled ex-service personnel."

The Programme is an important part of SfL’s aim to help UK Logistics companies address their current and future skills requirements and remain competitive. As well as providing service personnel with sector specific information, advice and guidance, helping them to identify how their skills match roles in the logistics sector, SfL will facilitate win-win opportunities for service personnel and logistics sector employees to come together through a structured 2-week work experience. All participating service personnel benefit from a guaranteed job interview and feedback at the end of the two weeks. Employers gain support to plan and deliver structured work experiences that enable service personnel to find out about work in the sector and provide ample opportunities for them to demonstrate their worth. SfL Implementation Specialists, using a structured Work Placement Framework, will provide guidance and support.

Jackson concluded: "We can give service leavers the chance to translate their military experience into civilian language and to provide the bridge to civilian employment through our modern Logistics Guild, a free-to-join member network, run by its members for its members; to share ideas, offer support, guidance, development and jobs. For personnel on a placement, every bit of experience will be logged and tracked on their personal locker, which will help towards the development of their skills as they move into logistics roles."

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