Norbert Dentressangle is working in partnership with Skills for Logistics to support the government funded Military Work Placement Scheme. The national initiative helps those leaving the armed forces bridge the gap between military and civilian life.
A pilot scheme, which ran from November 2012 to the end of March 2013, has been extended until 31st August 2013 following an enthusiastic response and high levels of interest. Norbert Dentressangle has backed the project from the start and so far over 60 military leavers have completed two-week placements, with another 18 scheduled to take place in the next few weeks. These cover a range of positions including operations management, warehouse management and driving.
In addition to providing service personnel with hands-on experience of careers in the transport and logistics industry, Norbert Dentressangle is ensuring participants receive information, advice and guidance that will help them identify transferable skill sets during the placement. There is also a guaranteed job interview upon completion of a course.
Sue Finch, who is facilitating the scheme in the Learning and Development (L&D) team at Norbert Dentressangle Transport Services, says: "Military personnel clearly have the right sort of transferable skills that can drive our industry forward but it’s sometimes not easy for them to move into civilian jobs.
"By closely shadowing our people, candidates get a real taste of what transport and logistics is all about, as well as experience they can use in their post-army professions. They get all the formal induction new starters do, and we put some of them through courses, such as the driver CPC training, where possible.
In summary Sue says: "It’s been a great learning experience for everyone involved and the feedback has been very positive, which is extremely encouraging."
Learning and Development Manager at Norbert Dentressangle Logistics, Chris Dolby, adds: "MWPS provides military personnel who will be soon leaving the armed services with the opportunity to experience commercial logistics environments first-hand, while at the same time, giving them the opportunity to showcase their individual abilities.
"The focus is on equipping them with the skills they need to work outside the military and there has been a real appetite across the business to support the men and women who have served their country."
Chris continues: "We’ve had requests from military personnel of all ranks – including privates, sergeants, lieutenants and even a major – and identified opportunities for placements at over 25 sites. It’s been such a success, we’ve already contacted Skills for Logistics confirming that we would like to continue to offer placements beyond August."
After his two week placement with Norbert Dentressangle at a national distribution centre in Northampton, Major Tom Hall of the 166 Supply Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, comments: "The time and effort given to me so freely to explain and demonstrate operations was really appreciated. I had not realised I would learn so much. As well as being so welcoming, everyone in the team was committed to operational excellence and clearly proud to work for Norbert Dentressangle."