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apprenticeship logistics UK
Skills shortage in the UK

The Nagel-Group sets standards for training

Jobs in logistics are very varied, but they all require one thing: sound training. Nagel Langdons, the British arm of the Nagel-Group, has collaborated on a new training standard to counteract the skills shortage in the country – a great asset, as Colin Snape, HR Manager at Nagel Langdons, is finding. He is the leader of the working party which developed the standards.

Ausbildung Logistik UK
Every trainee must achieve the same standards to successfully complete their training.

The new standards cover training for HGV drivers (Heavy Goods Vehicle Driver Level 2), Supply Chain Operators (Level 2) and Warehouse Operatives (Level 2) and thus support the development of the next generation along the supply chain in the logistics industry. The British Ministry for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has approved this and is providing financial support to the training company. “We are really excited that all three standards and their assessment criteria have been approved and can now be implemented,” says Snape. “The standards will have a positive effect on the industry and, as regards training, will make it easier to recruit well-qualified skilled workers. We believe that there will be high demand.”

Nagel Langdons has significantly driven forward the development process. As well as Nagel’s British subsidiary, the Ministry of Defence, the British Association of Removers (BAR), DHL, John Lewis and Sainsbury’s took part in the development. The awards body NCFE supported the project as a partner in its organisation. To ensure a business perspective, 50 entrepreneurs participated in developing each of the three standards. Together they defined a list of learning outcomes. Every trainee must achieve these to successfully complete their training. “This is how we test the job and industry proficiency of the candidates,” explains Colin Snape. During their training they get to know and apply these systems and processes, learn how to communicate with customers and plan efficiently.

HGV Driver UK
HGV drivers learn about efficient and sustainable driving techniques, load management and planning, and preparation processes in particular.

Summary of the three training standards

All trainees initially undergo a twelve-month training course. Core competencies are tested in intermediate exams. This ensures that the trainees have received optimum preparation for their final exam. The aim of the training courses vary: HGV drivers learn about efficient and sustainable driving techniques, load management and planning, and preparation processes in particular. However, customer service, working to protect the environment and natural resources, and basic IT skills are also included in the specialist knowledge which trainees have to demonstrate at the end of their training.

In their training, Supply Chain Operators learn about efficient management of various goods along the supply chain. Trainees are prepared for a variety of different customers, from major international to private local customers, and for the professional challenges involved. As well as communication skills, and knowledge of languages and mathematics, they acquire an in-depth understanding of the industry so that they can look after the supply chain at all its stages.

Warehouse Operatives must be able to cope well in different warehouses. The course trains them in, amongst other things, receipt of goods, loading and documentation. Fork-lift training and instruction in various warehousing systems prepare them for their new working environment and a career in the industry. The three standards require a small number of trainees. The aim is to create added value for both employer and employee. After training at Nagel Langdons, the trainee is ready for a career in logistics.

Funding to tackle skills shortages

“The UK has an extreme shortage of well-trained skilled workers. The industry is short of around 43,000 HGV drivers. And well-trained staff are also getting older, the average age is now the other side of 55. Many HGV drivers are still working when they are over 65,” says Snape. Without the new standards, by 2017 there would have been no further funding for training. The British government is pledging up to £4,900 to every logistics company which provides training. This sum is intended to flow into the training of new skilled workers. It can be used amongst other things to obtain an HGV licence.

The benefits of the new standards and the advantages of a good young workforce are already being felt: “At Nagel Langdons we have highly qualified HGV drivers only and they are all very knowledgeable about the logistics industry. On top of that, our workforce is young and motivated.” In Colin Snape’s view, the British subsidiary of the Nagel-Group will benefit from the standards and the funding programme: “I developed the new standards on the basis of my work over the past seven years for Nagel Langdons. They will slot perfectly into the operational activities of the Nagel-Group.”

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