National Apprenticeship Week Starts as World Wakes Up to the Importance of Logistics

Supply Chain Workers May Finally be Recognised for Their Contribution

UK – Can it possibly be as we enter National Apprenticeship Week, which runs to 14 February, that the world of work has finally woken up to the value both of logistics as an industry as well as the myriad branches of it which maintain the supply chain?

Despite the fact the men and women of the UK who are employed within it have kept the country in food, fuel and face masks, there are still shortages in some parts of the industry that need more, properly skilled staff and the hope is that youngsters and careers advisers, finally awaken to the fact that there are some good opportunities for those prepared to look for them.

Comments from some of those who have taken up positions thanks to the work of Seetec Outsource speak for themselves. Stuart Lupton, 20, from Hayes, West London, completed his Seetec placement apprenticeship in October 2019 and secured a permanent position with DHL Global Forwarding (UK) Ltd. He said:

“Despite Covid-19, it’s very much been business as usual. The main problem was getting flights as not every airline was sticking to their normal scheduling plans, and prices were going up. We had to speak to customers regularly and update quotes.

“I love the sense of accomplishment when I get a job done. It’s interesting to know what you’re moving and that you’re helping somebody to get their medication or transporting radioactive materials to help someone to get their cancer treatment.”

Virginia Horsnell, Head of HR Projects, Engagement and Talent at DHL Global Forwarding (UK) Ltd observed that the Apprenticeship Scheme had been hugely successful, and working with Seetec Outsource had allowed the company to provide a continuous stream of exceptional young talent into the business.

Seetec has marked the week with the release of a new video which features the comments from freight forwarding apprentices at DHL Global Forwarding UK and Ligentia UK, highlighting their resilience and contribution to their employers businesses. Seetec Employee Trustee Director Karen Palfreyman explained:

“The freight and logistics industry has been at the forefront of the pandemic response. Our learners have risen to that challenge, this highlights the depth of talented apprentices that can be found in all parts of the country.

“They’ve continued their learning despite the lockdowns, adapted to online learning, followed social distancing restrictions and showed incredible resilience and unbeatable determination to succeed. In doing that they have helped their businesses to thrive. They are unsung heroes, it’s great to see their hard work being recognised.”

Another young talent to get involved is Harry Wilson, 21, from Grays, Essex, who started his International Freight Forwarding Apprenticeship with Ligentia UK in September 2019. Harry said:

“I’ve worked more months in lockdown within my apprenticeship than in the office, which has proven difficult at times. However, I have been in constant contact with my line manager and the rest of my team and I do feel I’ve learned a lot and developed a lot. It’s an industry where there’s so much to learn with different rules for different countries. It’s very challenging and you don’t know what to expect, anything could happen.”

Richard Gilberthorpe, Director of Group HR Ligentia, said all the apprentices have demonstrated great resilience and determination to continue to learn and develop their skillset in international logistics in the past year, despite the situation, and Neil Bates, Managing Director of Seetec Outsource, concluded:

“This year’s National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity to focus on how a stronger commitment to the skills agenda can help boost the economic and social recovery from Covid-19. Seetec is committed to working with employers to establish new apprenticeship programmes that not only service their business needs for a more skilled workforce, but also empower people from all backgrounds to achieve their career and learning ambitions.”

Meanwhile the Port of Tilbury has been doing its own bit for National Apprenticeship Week by hiring a further 10 young apprentices in full time roles across the port following the completion of a successful two-year programme.

The Warehouse and Supply Chain Operative Apprenticeship programme has been running since 2016 with 26 apprentices (aged between 18 – 24) now having successfully completed this apprenticeship. The apprentices developed their skills over a 2-year period and every one of them, including the 10 young apprentices who have completed this year, have been kept on in full time roles across the port.

The apprenticeship programmes are delivered through their bespoke award-winning Logistics Academy located at the port which has access to a state-of-the-art Technology Suite housing two simulators that are used to develop plant operation skills for example, container handling. Paul Dale, Asset and Site Director at The Port of Tilbury said:

“We are extremely proud of our apprenticeship programmes at The Port of Tilbury and I am very pleased to welcome the 10 young apprentices who join us in full time employment.

”We have a long history of investing in our people to ensure that we have the skills for our business in the future and there are a lot of opportunities here at our busy port as we rapidly expand our facilities. Many of our apprentices go on to have long careers with us in roles including engineering, operations and finance.”

The Port of Tilbury, in partnership with the PLA, announced last week that it was offering over 30 unemployed young people the opportunity to join the Port of Tilbury and Port of London Authority (PLA) in Gravesend for paid six-month traineeships this spring, as part of the Government’s £2.4 billion Kickstart work programme. The opportunities available range from administration through to operations, will give 16 to 24-year olds a chance to gain important experience in a real working environment.

Photo: Yes. That’s an apprentice driving the Terberg! Jack Byrne pulling containers off a RoRo vessel at the Port of Tilbury.


Tuesday, February 9, 2021