Park Logisitics - Creating Supply Chain Solutions

Park Logistics - Creating supply Chain Solutions

Creating Supply Chain Solutions
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Key roles in Logistics

Dr Ross Moloney, the new CEO of Skills for Logistics, sets out his vision and how he wants to leverage the organisation’s capabilities by working in partnership with the sector to help make the UK the best logistics centre in the world.

Over the years, one of the biggest challenges for Skills for Logistics – the Sector Skills Council for Logistics Wholesale – has been to explain our role. As the new CEO of Skills for Logistics, my first duty is to provide a simple answer: our aim is to   ‘Attract, Develop Support’ people and companies in the Logistics Industry.

We are not in competition with sector bodies and management organisations; our purpose is to get job seekers into jobs and satisfy the demand for people in our sector – particularly in those hard to fill positions.

The Logistics Sector needs to attract new talent, make people better at their jobs and improve businesses. This is vital for the UK economy because although our sector employs 8 per cent of the nation’s workforce, we need 588,000 additional workers between 2014 and 2020; employers report that many people seeking jobs are not ‘work ready’; the UK logistics sector is poorly qualified – some 41 per cent of the industry’s workers do not hold a ‘level 2′ qualification; and, finally, almost half of logistics companies do not fund or arrange staff training.

Let’s break down how SfL is addressing those challenges through our role to ‘Attract, Develop Support’.


By connecting local employers to schools and colleges through our established products we can ensure that young people are aware of the exciting opportunities that a career in logistics offers. These products include:

‘Made in China’ – the curriculum resource aimed at 14-16 year olds – supports mathematics, communication, problem-solving and enterprise in the curriculum and brings alive some important logistics concepts within a ‘real world’ setting.

The Logistics Locker – an on-line resource consisting of toolkits for logistics employers, employees, schools, colleges and graduates – aims to raise awareness of the opportunities within the industry.

The Skills Calculator – enables people to see what their earning potential could be as a fully skilled employee in any one of over 150 job roles currently identified across all job functions and career levels. In addition to attracting talented youth, we must also reach out to other parts of the labour market such as the military, the long-term unemployed, people looking to return to the labour market and ex-offenders to help get them into logistics jobs.

A great example is the Military Work Placement Scheme (MWPS), which was piloted from November 2012 to August 2013. It offered military leavers a fully funded, 2-week work placement with quality logistics organisations. Placements ranged from the shop floor to all levels of management. The MWPS was hugely successful with 1,000 work placements being provided and over 100 jobs secured. The 2,264 applications it received showed there was a huge demand for the programme.


We want to help people have the best possible logistics careers. We are about bridging the gap between being qualified or available for a job and being work ready – we hear regularly from employers how interviewees are often not work ready. Hence, SfL, together with Beyond2030, have established a Jobs Club development programme providing opportunities for jobs in the logistics-centric areas of in Rugby and Nuneaton. It focuses on access to job searching skills and a 6-week development programme focusing on the knowledge, motivation, skills and confidence to help get people into employment. Ideal for unemployed individuals, the programme can easily be adapted for other parts of the labour market. The first Job Club went live in Rugby in March 2013. Over 200 people completed the programme and were given access to pre-employment training. Over 100 people received mentoring from employers and, to date, many previously long-term unemployed people have secured permanent jobs.

The Logistics Sector has historically lacked a career progression route. SfL’s Professional Development Stairway (PDS) provides a common platform for employers, employees and partners to understand and manage career development opportunities across the Logistics Sector. The PDS supports people looking for work in the sector (and advisers) to highlight suitable entry points; promotes the sector as one that offers a varied and interesting career; and also supports those already working in the sector to show career and progression opportunities. SfL is also helping employers to access the training they need. We are working with employers, colleges and training providers to help identify and connect employer training needs to education and training provision.  The Logistics Guild is building relationships with training and education providers to ensure there is support for the skill needs of employers and that employers are signposted to the most appropriate provision.


The final element of our tripartite message is support for employers, individuals and partners.  For many, particularly smaller companies, training comes low down on the priority list and accessing funding can be complicated. SfL knows how to help companies seeking funding for training and government support.  We can bring together employers, local authorities, LEPs, schools, colleges, and other organisations to tackle this.  We are successfully securing employer match funding for a range of our current projects, and the Logistics Guild is providing members with a range of services to support their logistics success.

Effective employer networks are an important lever for harnessing and increasing employer investment in skills and overcoming common barriers such as lack of awareness of skills needs, difficulty in accessing learning and training provision and problems related to the costs of training.

To connect the Logistics Sector to the local community, SfL has established Local Logistics Community Networks (LLCNs) to increase its attractiveness amongst local talent pools, support recruitment into the sector and promote the benefits of and encourage skills development. LLCNs consist of employers, local authorities, LEPs, training providers and other organisations that are focused on skills development and employment.

SfL can engage both employers and training providers, ensuring that employer demands are articulated and relevant training is available through a local network of quality assured training providers. LLCNs will also bring together organisations to aid recruitment into the sector. Anyone who works in the sector can also find support through The Logistics Guild. This shared resource, run for and by its members, is free and no qualifications are required to become a member and gain access to ideas, support, guidance, development and jobs.

We are also developing a Credit Union for the Logistics Sector, which will provide a source of funding or a way of indirectly reducing the cost of training to businesses. Any financial surplus from the Logistics Credit Union will be channelled as bursaries for members to help pay for training. Importantly, in a sector with a larger proportion of people who struggle with reading and writing, money can be drawn by members to help improve basic skills.

As the Credit Union develops momentum, we hope that it can offer financing to employer members for vehicle, plant and machinery leasing at preferential rates, all with the ethical lending ethos of a Credit Union. Underpinning all of the work I have described here is SfL’s research and intelligence, which not only helps us, but also employers and partners understand the Logistics Sector.  Our highly regarded intelligence can inform planning and investment decisions by employers, partners and government – both nationally and locally.

This is what Skills for Logistics is about and I look forward to leveraging our capabilities and working in partnership with the sector to help make the UK the best logistics centre in the world.

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