A drive to encourage more people to consider future careers in logistics saw a fleet of HGVs visit Stockton Riverside College.
Students were able to get up close to the wagons and gain an insight from employers and industry experts into working life in the industry, as the Road Haulage Association’s National Lorry Week roadshow rolled into Stockton.
While it might be the driver shortage that regularly hits the headlines, LV Logistics’ company ambassador Matthew Ord said: “There is always a need for drivers but there is so much more to the industry than just that.
“When people talk about logistics they immediately think of warehousing and driving, but there’s many other roles around that which are essential to keep goods moving.”
For those looking to build meaningful careers, he said: “Logistics is worth a look, we need to raise awareness of what we do as a whole, to help people recognise there’s jobs in everything from customer service to IT, human resources, engineering, finance, planning and sales.”
And for those that enter the industry, whether that be as a driver or something else, he said, it can open the door to a host of further possibilities.
Sally Gilson, skills policy lead at the Road Haulage Association, agrees. They have been working with schools across the UK to emphasise the diversity of jobs available.
She said: “We have a project where we get youngsters to map out a route to transport goods that helps them identify the different jobs involved along the way. For example, from driving the truck to measuring its dimensions and using software to work out the tricky angles of the route, it is all a collaborative process.”
That’s not to say the demand for drivers isn’t there. In fact, more than 85% of all goods bought in the UK are transported on the back of a lorry along the way. National Lorry Week is the RHA’s annual campaign to champion the industry.
“We still have an ageing demographic with regards to drivers,” said Sally, which she explains will bite in the next five years. “It is really important that we get some younger blood coming in.”
Stockton Riverside College has been working with employers, industry experts and the RHA championing the industry and working to help tackle emerging skills gaps since 2015, resulting in the establishment of its Tees Valley Logistics Academy.
The college’s logistics team leader, Phil Dorn, said: “Events like this are so important as a way of reaching out, not just to our students, but to staff and visitors, and offer an insight into what logistics is all about.
“Logistics plays an essential role in our everyday lives and offers so many amazing career options and that’s the message we are working to share.”