Youngest OLAT candidate attends Skills Summit

Friday 18 March 2016

A 16-year-old boy with dreams of running his own transport company was among delegates at the Freight Transport Association’s Skills Summit – Attract, Recruit & Retain - yesterday which explored how to solve the skills gap in the logistics industry.

FTA Skills Summit– sponsored by DAF Trucks, was held at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry and attracted over 400 attendees, including Bradley Hunt – who last week became the youngest ever candidate to sit an FTA Operator Licence Awareness Training exam.

Bradley from Tamworth, is currently juggling GCSE studies with weekends learning the trade at a transport company, and already recognises the challenges of working in the transport sector.

“I think it’s hard for people because it’s expensive, especially with the cost of getting a licence these days, and the CPC isn’t cheap either. But it’s an industry that’s not going to disappear any time soon. Even in a recession you can’t manage without transport – there would be no food on the table, no bricks to build houses,” he said.
Bradley met FTA’s Head of Automotive, Technician and Workshop Development Lawrie Alford at the Skills Show in Birmingham last year and impressed Lawrie with his industry knowledge.

“He knew the fundamentals of Operator Licencing and showed a passion for commercial vehicles that I have rarely seen in nearly 40 years. He seemed to eat and breathe transport and logistics,” he said.

FTA’s General Manager of Training Keith Gray has now offered for the Association to sponsor Brad through his Transport Manager CPC course later this year.

Keith said: “I think Brad demonstrates there is bright future for our industry. We need to engage with young people and focus on the positives. For too long, logistics has been an industry that people fell into. We need to be an industry that attracts individuals by design rather than luck.”

Bradley’s dad, uncle and aunt work in the transport industry and he’s determined to start an apprenticeship as soon as he finishes school. The image of the industry is one of the issues on the agenda at today’s event – and Bradley agrees it’s a problem that needs tackling if more young people are to be attracted.
“There’s a stereotypical image of truckers eating burgers, sitting behind a wheel. People are surprised a 16-year-old would be interested,” he said.

FTA’s Skills Summit at the Ricoh Arena - which was sponsored by DAF Trucks and supported by Goodyear and Microlise, followed the success of last year’s Solving the Driver Crisis Summit. The free event featured a filmed keynote speech by entrepreneur and Skills Show patron Theo Paphitis and an afternoon of masterclasses hosted by a variety of industry experts.

Find out more about the training courses provided by the FTA at:
FTA Press Office
01892 552255