Freight Transport Association joins forces with Department for Work and Pensions to tackle logistics skills

Commercial Motor
November 12, 2014

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) last week signed a Partnership Agreement with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in a bid to improve recruitment and skill levels in logistics.

FTA managing director of membership and policy, James Hookham, met with employment minister Esther McVey to discuss logistics sector skills needs, in particular the current driver shortage.

A five-point plan was created to raise awareness of logistics careers for unemployed people receiving advice from Job Centre Plus advisors, as well as advise FTA members on the types of support and funding available from the government. The agreement sees the FTA and DWP commit to:

  • Work together to raise the profile of the logistics sector with jobseekers, through local and national initiatives
  • Develop work experience and employment and skills programmes to make it easier for job seekers to gain employment in the logistics sector
  • Share labour market intelligence that will help guide both DWP and industry on vacancy and skills gaps
  • Inform and support DWPs JobCentre advisors’ understanding of the breadth of opportunities and career prospects in the logistics sector
  • Promote the professionalising of the industry through new logistics qualifications

Included within the aims are plans to attract young people into the industry and improve the image and understanding of logistics; highlight skills shortages, such as HGV drivers; provide details of routes to funding for skills for FTA members and provide the logistics industry with fit for purpose qualifications and gain government funding for businesses for training.
 
Hookham said: “This agreement outlines clear objectives, particularly regarding the improvement of recruitment and skill levels in the logistics industry and commits FTA and DWP specific outcomes to resolve specific issues to resolve this as soon as possible.”
 
During the meeting, the FTA also pressed the minister on support for the extension of student loans for the funding of vocational training starting with the urgent need for licence acquisition for aspiring HGV drivers.
 
“It is crucial that over the next five years fleet and transport managers engage with and attract more people into the freight and logistics sector and this partnership agreement will enable us to help raise the profile of transport in the wider labour market,” added Hookham.

The Road Haulage Association also entered into a similar agreement last November with the DWP.

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