Employers across the North-east are being urged to step-up to help open young people’s eyes to potential careers in logistics.
Stockton Riverside College is inviting businesses from throughout the region to join the discussion as it rolls out a second year of its Logistics Academy.
Michelle Elliott, the college’s Director of Business Development, said: “The Academy was first launched in 2015 to raise awareness of the industry and the many job opportunities that exist within it.”
By working with local employers the initiative offers students a series of masterclasses, site visits, mentoring and internships opportunities.
Taking the lead as Chairman of the Logistics Academy, Jim French, Director of PD Portcentric Logistics, a part of the PD Ports Group, and national chairman of the Road Haulage Association, said: “There are currently 2.3m people employed in logistics in this country, yet we face great difficulty in attracting young people in to the industry.”
According to industry experts, much of the problem is due to a lack of understanding of what the sector fully involves.
A partnership between Stockton Riverside College, SRC Bede Sixth Form, NETA, PD Ports, Career Ready and Think Logistics, the Logistics Academy was developed to bring employers and young people together.
North East Regional Manager for Career Ready, Karen McCartney, said: “Our aim is to build bridges between education and employment for young people.”
In its first year the Academy has already seen its first batch of students visit and work alongside industry giants including PD Ports, KP Snacks, Devereux, AV Dawson and Clipper Logistics.
Now calls are going out for more employers and industry experts to get on board.
Logistics Academy Student Alice Briggs, 17, from Redcar, said: “Through the Academy I have learnt that there’s far more to the industry than I originally thought. I am learning vital skills that will help me in the future.”
Fellow student Harrison Oxley, 17, of Thornaby, said: “There is definitely a lack of understanding of what logistics is. Any links between employers and schools or colleges can only be a good thing as it opens the doors to the industry and shows young people that there are workplaces out there looking to hire.”
Chairman Jim French said: “The aim of the Logistics Academy is to increase awareness and prepare the students for the many varied careers available in the sector. It also allows employers to look at potential future employees as well as giving the students an opportunity to experience the working environment.”
The Logistics Academy is holding an employers' breakfast event at Stockton Riverside College, Harvard Avenue, Stockton, at 8am on Friday 21st October. To book your place or find out how you can get involved call 01642 865 528.