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Firm sees positive logistics skills picture

04 February 2016

As part of a drive to identify areas of the economy where skills gaps may exist, a Colchester based awarding organisation, Gateway Qualifications, has carried out an assessment on the Procurement and Logistics markets.

Janet Ravensdale, a senior Curriculum Manager and qualified assessor, worked with Gateway Qualifications on the project, noting that a UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) report published in October 2014 had reported on the need for a more qualified workforce.  Among its findings was the following statement; “Logistics is a key part of the UK economy, contributing over £90billion and employing 2.2 million people, some 8% of the workforce.”

The UKCES report urged employers to recognise that “As technology advances, the skills required are changing to meet them. Advanced automation, software systems and high tech advances in warehousing and tracking systems means IT skills are now essential. There are also roles that require high-level expertise in applied mathematics and statistics for analyzing data and to collate and interpret technical reports.”

Logistics skills expert and MD of FireDog Research Ross Moloney added: "I spent several years promoting the strategic importance of the UK Logistics Sector with government and it felt as if we were getting somewhere. The old perception of a bleak and back breaking industry is being replaced with something more like the reality we all recognise.  Logistics is actually characterised by technological innovation, exactness and the highest standards of service. So training people with skills for the present and future is to be applauded.  In this regard, I'm particularly pleased with the recent developments and reforms of Apprenticeships."

Efforts are, however, being made to close the skills gap and give logistics and procurement the recognition they warrant. Gateway Qualifications is among the organisations extending and expanding its range of awards in these subjects to improve and increase the supply of qualified young staff, working with FE colleges such as South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, Basingstoke College of Technology and South East Essex College.  New qualifications are on their way, for example a Level 3 qualification for 16-19 year olds which will provide a platform for younger learners to progress to university and another for the 19+ age group, supporting access to higher education for those who do not have an academic background and might struggle to move straight onto a degree course.