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LSC campaign drives logistics companies to train

Hundreds of logistics workers in the East Midlands are set to benefit from a Learning and Skills Council campaign to drive up the commitment to training amongst the region's 4,600 logistics employers.

The Delivering Results LSC campaign spelt out the need to train staff in order to address major skills gaps issues and recruitment problems being faced by the majority of employers in the region. Currently more than 50 percent of employers in the region fail to deliver any training, and many others remain too focused on the idea that training is just a way of complying with mandatory requirements.

More than 3,200 companies were targeted over a three-month period with direct mail postcards that stressed training was an essential activity for any company looking to survive in a sector renowned for its highly competitive nature.

The campaign was designed to communicate that training can address some of the major issues facing the sector including problems with the recruitment and retention of staff; poor sector image, lack of progression from operative level to management and the need to emphasise the business benefits of training to employers. With the cost of recruiting a new member of staff reaching £4,000, the LSC is urging employers to increase their commitment to training.

As a result of the campaign, 260 employers identified as expressing an interest in training are now in touch with training brokers at the two new Centres of Vocational Excellence (CoVE) established to provide industry specific training solutions.

The two new CoVes for the Logistics sector have been recognised at Northampton and Chesterfield and will provide specialist provision, with an emphasis on level 3, to employers throughout the East Midlands. Created with input from the logistics industry and in response to calls from employers for a better way to meet their training needs, the CoVEs will provide a single point of access to a whole network of training provision as well as a diagnostic service to help employers identify the right courses to meet their business needs.

In addition to driver training, employers can take advantage of NVQs in Traffic Office, driving goods vehicles, and Warehousing and Distribution Operations based on workplace assessment of competence. Other options include taught courses for the Chartered Institute of Logistics for new entrants, and operatives (Level 2 introductory) and the Certificate in Logistics for first line managers or aspiring first line managers. Transport Managers could take advantage of a Certificate of Professional Competence or health & Safety training such as Manual Handling and IOSH and NEBOSH.

The CoVE programme is central to the Learning and Skills Council's task of improving skills for employment and national competitiveness.

Neville Royan, Regional Sector Skills Manager at the LSC, said: “The logistics industry in the East Midlands now has the opportunity to take advantage of two new centres offering training developed specifically for their needs.

“We hope this campaign has prompted employers to start taking steps to address some of the issues facing the sector as the environment is only set to become more competitive with customers demanding a faster and more efficient service.

“For example there are case studies to show that when a National Vocational Qualifications programme is introduced in a company it can increase productivity and efficient work practices whilst also reducing skills gaps and staff turnover.”

Employers can contact a training representative from their local CoVe network to discuss their needs by calling 01604 734 567 or 01246 500 500.

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