Employers and industry experts stepped up today to find out how they can help encourage young people to consider future careers in logistics.
The event at Stockton Riverside College marked the launch of a second phase of the college’s Logistics Academy – an initiative aimed at engaging young people and raise awareness of potential future opportunities in the sector.
Piloted for the first time last year, the Logistics Academy was set up as a joint scheme by Stockton Riverside College, SRC Bede Sixth Form, NETA and PD Ports, working in partnership with Think Logistics and national charity, Career Ready.
Jim French, Director of PD Ports’ portcentric logistics division and national Chairman of the Road Haulage Association, said: “While we are already seeing some success for students through the Academy we are only really just scratching the surface.”
The Academy offers the opportunity for the industry to reach out to a younger audience by offering site-visits, masterclasses, mentoring opportunities and internships. This in turn offers employers the chance to identify and engage future talent as well as helping to spread the word.
Running alongside their full-time courses, the project enables students to develop a wider knowledge of the sector, get an insight into the working industry, and develop the essential skills all employers are looking for.
North East Regional Manager for Career Ready, Karen McCartney, said: “It is great to see that the first year of the Logistics Academy has so far proven successful and that by working together we have been able to offer these students quite a unique experience.
“Now we are looking forward to introducing a new batch of students on to the scheme and to continue to build on that success.”
Chris Pickles, Own Fleet Manager at Nestle, has taken an active role in the Logistics Academy since its launch in October 2015.
He said: “Initiatives such as the Logistics Academy are crucial for the North-east but it is essential for those in the industry to show their support and get involved.
“I have a student mentee and that, for me, has been a learning process, as it has been for us all. It does take you out of your comfort zone but it is incredible to think that we are helping give the young people confidence and potentially changing lives.”
Speaking at the event was current Logistics Academy student, 17-year-old SRC Bede Sixth Form student, Harrison Oxley.
He said: “The Logistics Academy has been beneficial to me, having work experience on my CV is vital as it shows future employers I have an understanding of the workplace and all that involves.
“Working with a mentor has been fantastic and going forward this has been invaluable.”