Hauliers urged to recruit from the armed forces to plug skills gap

The head of Skills for Logistics (SfL) has said a new scheme aimed at recruiting ex-services personnel into the road transport industry is “absolutely not” just for large operators in the sector.

Speaking earlier this month at the official launch of SfL’s Military Transitions to Logistics programme at London’s Imperial War Museum, the sector skills council’s chief executive Mick Jackson said the initiative would benefit everyone.

“This is absolutely not just aimed at larger employers,” said Jackson during a question and answer section after the formal presentation. “We have 50 to 60 companies signed up but only around a  third are the ‘bigger’ companies [3PLs].”

Jackson said the programme extended out to local employers and suggested there was no reason even the smallest hauliers couldn’t get involved, albeit employing perhaps just one or two ex-services personnel in keeping with their requirements.

SfL has set up the new programme with £1.4m of funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills’ Employer Investment Fund. It has charged itself with  attracting up to 1,000 people leaving the services into a job within logistics by the end of what is in effect a pilot in March 2013.

The programme provides a specific route into the sector for ex-Armed Forces personnel. As well as selling logistics as a career, it includes a two-week placement with an operator and interviews and structured feedback.

“Those in military logistics have the knowledge but need help getting into and adjusting to civilian logistics,” said Jackson.