Successful Skills Summit focuses on future of logistics | FTA

Thursday 17 March 2016

"Great interactive session" "Look forward to hearing how you're going to change the image of the industry" and "So important to educate young people about logistics" are just a few of the comments from delegates at today's Freight Transport Association Skills Summit that took place at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

The free event, which attracted around 500 people, explored issues surrounding the skills shortage in the transport and logistics industry and the steps needed to attract new staff. The lively discussions continued on Twitter, where #FTAskills16 - the event's hashtag - was trending at number 45 in the UK.

Following last year’s successful Driver Crisis Summit, this year’s event – Attract, Recruit, Retain, sponsored by DAF Trucks - looked at the skills shortage across the whole industry, including drivers, fleet managers, technicians and engineers. Key issues included apprenticeships and the Apprenticeship Levy, engaging with young people, attracting women into logistics and industry image.

The interactive sessions prompted comments about the skills needed to drive an HGV, the negative impact of the migrant crisis in Calais on the industry and the career path from apprentice to CEO.

James Hookham, FTA’s Deputy Chief Executive, said: “Today’s Summit has built on the success of last year’s event and really focused on the barriers and issues that are preventing our industry from effectively recruiting and retaining staff. There were some thought-provoking presentations and lots of lively contributions from the audience which will hopefully encourage them to think about developing effective strategies.

"There is still a great deal to be done to improve the public perception of the logistics industry and make it a desirable place to work, but the response from delegates here today and their overwhelming desire to tackle these issues has been extremely encouraging.”

The Summit took place during National Apprenticeship Week, and with vehicle engineers being the most difficult role to recruit in the UK, the focus was on the progress of FTA’s own apprentices, who embarked on a three-year scheme with FTA and Gist last year.

The day included a series of panel sessions and masterclasses covering issues surrounding school leavers, jobseekers, foreign workers, armed service leavers and retaining the skills that organisations currently have.

Notes for editors

The FTA Skills Summit 2016 was sponsored by DAF and supported by Goodyear and Microlise, with media partners Commercial Motor and Motor Transport. The masterclasses were sponsored by DAF, DWP, Microlise, Euroforce and Goodyear.

National Apprenticeship Week 2016, co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service, runs from 14 to 18 March and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. Details can be found at
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