Skills for Logistics, the Sector Skills Council for the freight logistics industries, has begun work on developing its innovative School's Programme, the pilot phase for which has been funded by the Road Haulage Distribution Council (RHDTC) and is due to run during the 2007-8 academic year.
The three year School's Programme aims to raise awareness of the logistics sector with young people in schools by developing logistics-related curriculum materials and career guidance. It has set its sights high by choosing to harness logistics awareness to the teaching of mathematics and enterprise in schools – both key areas in the Government's new curriculum for 14 to 16 year olds.
A working group comprising a mix of education and industry experts is collaborating to develop a suite of software that will give young learners aged between 14 and 16 an opportunity to get to grips with the varied challenges involved in managing an international logistics supply chain, whilst providing them with a practical context for learning mathematics.
The software is being developed for piloting from this autumn term in 30 schools across three geographic regions: the North West of England, East Midlands and Scotland. The pilot schools themselves – both the mathematics teachers and their pupils – will provide important feedback to help to refine the software and ensure its relevance and value as a flexible and inspirational learning resource, accessible by pupils of all backgrounds and learning abilities, including the very able.
“It is significant that the School's Programme has developed a clear focus on a highly relevant area of the curriculum, identified a logistics theme which most young people today will readily identify with – namely, the distribution of iPods made in China and marketed in the UK – and that the working group is now pooling its creative ideas and insights to ensure that maximum learning and enjoyment can be derived from this innovative resource,” stated Ian Hetherington, Chief Executive of Skills for Logistics.
“This is the first time that resources have been produced in a concerted way for the purpose of teaching Logistics in schools right across the UK and Scotland. The effectiveness of the pilot programme will be carefully monitored to ensure that it fully meets its educational and awareness-raising objectives. It would be a tremendous outcome if more pupils took up maths or science, or chose to go on to pursue one of the many and varied career paths available in the logistics industry, as a direct result of this programme,” he concluded.