Source: Handy Shipping guide, 2021-09-21
Even before the desperate search for qualified staff to manage the mountain of extra customs entries required due to the unsatisfactory Brexit deal, nobody could have accused the British International Freight Association (BIFA) of being slow off the mark with regard to training the next generation of forwarders.
The intransigence of the EU in not allowing the UK the return to the original terms negotiated back in 1973 has led to a shed load of work, and the cry for more staff has been echoing around the country. Since he started at the Association as Training Development Manager back in 2016, Carl Hobbis has led a crusade to encourage more youngsters into the field of logistics.
Elevated earlier in 2021 to Executive Director his handwriting is all over the latest BIFA campaign to encourage its members to work with schools to promote careers in logistics, forwarding and the supply chain, and encourage students to consider them. In a year when many students have seen their education turned on its head BIFA is equipping its members with materials to help them promote careers within the freight and logistics sector to them.
During September, BIFA members will be receiving copies of literature (pictured) that is full of ideas of how to promote their business, and the industry as a career option, to the next generation. This promotional material is the first part of a wider industry inspiration programme that will help members to highlight to students the available routes when making career choices, identify the core values and behaviours required when applying for jobs, and provide advice that may encourage young people to broaden their horizons.
Whilst the trade association has its own plans to have more proactive engagement with schools, it hopes that the literature that is being distributed will inspire members around the country to do something locally. BIFA believes that schools need employer engagement and apart from the blue-chip organisations, many members generally don’t know where to start or who to approach, so it is encouraging those members to reverse this and reach out to schools in their vicinity. Carl Hobbis says:
“Industry promotion is one of BIFA’s key roles and part of that is encouraging logistics as a career path. We see career guidance via school events as being key to that. Since the Brexit vote and the onset of the Covid pandemic, global supply chains have been in the news more than ever, so what a great time to encourage someone to consider a career in international freight sector that manages those supply chains.
“Apprenticeships are certainly something that a lot of students are considering, rather than taking on the debt associated with a degree, and we are reminding members that there is a specific apprenticeship standard for International Freight Forwarding, that BIFA was instrumental in establishing.
“Many of our members are doing some fantastic things already, but we, as a trade association need to do more. This literature is just the start and provides a framework to support members, and help them to attract the next generation to the freight forwarding and logistics industry.”