BIFA urges forwarders to consider apprenticeship schemes

Carl Hobbis

UK forwarder group BIFA has repeated its call for freight forwarding and logistics companies to consider recruiting apprentices.

The group said that apprentice schemes have been cut back as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak, but added that the industry needed to look to the future.

One of BIFA’s executive directors, Carl Hobbis, said: “We know it’s a tough call, with the pandemic and the post transition period continuing to disrupt many freight forwarders’ operations.

“There has been a sharp decline in the number of individuals that have started their journey on the International Freight Forwarding specialist apprenticeship.

“Forwarding businesses have many difficult commercial decisions to make, but shelving apprenticeships should not be one of them.

“It is vital to continue to recruit freight forwarding apprentices and build capacity to start equipping a new generation with the knowledge and skills to face the challenges ahead in the post Brexit and post Covid-19 world.”

The association pointed out that government statistics show a sharp decline in apprenticeship starts across the entire country.

Hobbis added: “We are at an important crossroads and we must protect the future of the sector as we meet the changing supply chain management demands that have resulted from the pandemic and the UK’s exit from the EU.”

In 2018, BIFA helped create the International Freight Forwarding specialist apprenticeship. So far, around 500 apprentices having taken the pathway.

Funding is available as part of the government’s support scheme for training and apprenticeships. Until March 2021, to support employers to take on more apprentices, the government is offering up to £2,000 for each new apprentice they hire.

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Damian Brett

Damian Brett
I have been writing about the freight and logistics industry since 2007 when I joined International Freighting Weekly to cover the shipping sector.After a stint in PR, I have gone on to work for Containerisation International and Lloyds List - where I was editor of container shipping - before joining Air Cargo News in 2015.Contact me on [email protected]