Leading trade bodies and the professional institute in the logistics sector have joined with the sector skills council to welcome the launch of government-funded apprenticeships in logistics from 6 April 2011 and to urge employers to make best use of them as part of a continuous professional development programme.
The Freight Transport Association, Road Haulage Association and Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport have joined with Skills for Logistics to urge employers in the logistics sectors to ‘claim their share’ of available funding and make best use of the nine apprenticeships on offer by building them into their skills development programmes.
Apprenticeships offer new entrants, as well as existing employees, a variety of different work experiences that can be arranged by the employer over a one, two or three year period. These are supported by modular learning courses providing theory and knowledge to back up the practical work experience. They ensure that individuals have the practical skills and qualifications an organisation needs now and in the future, which will directly influence the bottom line, ensure continuity of essential skills and provide motivation and opportunity for the entire workforce.
For the first time Skills for Logistics has developed, with leading employers from the sector, a Logistics Operations Apprenticeship allowing the full range of key logistics activities to be experienced in a single apprenticeship. Government meets all the training cost for 16-19 year olds and half the training costs for those aged 19-24.
The government is making around £1.5 billion available to fund 250,000 apprenticeship places over the next four years but it will not come to the logistics sector as of right – it has to be called down (see contacts below).
Mick Jackson, Chief Executive of Skills for Logistics, said:
"Apprenticeships give a great way into a career in logistics. For the first time we can offer an apprentice experience across the logistics function – making them a much more rounded team member when they have completed it. However, apprenticeships are not just for young people, they can give anybody’s career a boost. Every one of our apprenticeships clearly shows career progression along The Professional Development Stairway."
Steve Agg, Chief Executive of CILT (UK), said:
"Logistics skills are an essential requirement for every successful business. Apprentice training extends individuals personally as well as professionally and equips them for lifelong career progression. CILT champions professional standards across the logistics sector and recognises apprenticeship training as an ideal basis for career development. To support all apprentices, CILT is introducing a unique Apprentice grade of membership which will provide valued services to support individuals throughout their apprenticeship and beyond."
James Hookham, Managing Director Policy & Communications of FTA, said:
"This is tangible support for getting more people to work in our industry, so let’s use it! Funded apprenticeships are a welcome boost for employers in tough times and they are available now through a variety of providers, including, of course, FTA. It is vital that logistics takes up its share of funded places to ensure this flow of government support continues. Apprenticeships provide real value for money and a boost to an individual’s prospects by equipping them with the basic knowledge, skills and experience for an enduring and rewarding career in the logistics sector."
Geoff Dunning, Chief Executive of RHA, said:
"In many ways apprenticeships are one of the industry’s best kept secrets. I often hear people say that they can’t get funding for training, but this is an excellent way of doing just that – and the system is sufficiently flexible to make sure that people are trained in areas that are totally relevant to an individual employer’s needs. More than that, this is a product that can be used by employers of all sizes – I urge all RHA members to take a close look."