Forwarder group Bifa backs apprenticeship drive

By Damian Brett

Carl Hobbis

UK freight forwarder association Bifa is holding a series of events to support the forthcoming National Apprenticeship Week 2022.

Throughout the week, which runs from February 7 to 13, Bifa executive director Carl Hobbis will be working with colleagues and members of the organisation’s Young Forwarder Network to promote careers in logistics to students at schools and colleges.

The events will culminate with a free one-hour online event on Friday February 11 at 11:00, during which James Billingham, a director of the Skills Office Network, will provide a comprehensive overview of the International Freight Forwarding Specialist apprenticeship, its structure, and the benefits that an apprentice can bring to a member of the association.

“One week before the start of National Apprenticeship Week 2022, we are urging BIFA Members to sign up for Friday’s event, whilst encouraging them to join us and their peers in promoting the logistics industry as a career of choice within their local communities,” said Hobbis.

“Despite a good start after the launch of the International Freight Forwarding Specialist apprenticeship in 2018, uptake has been hit by the disruption caused to many freight forwarders’ daily operations by the pandemic and the post transition period.

“A surge in workload coincided with a sharp decline in the number of individuals that have started their journey on the International Freight Forwarding Specialist apprenticeship.

“As we continue to prepare for a logistics industry, post EU exit and post Covid-19, the recruitment of freight forwarding apprentices will be an essential part of building capacity and equipping a new generation with the knowledge and skills to face the challenges ahead.

“The International Freight Forwarding Specialist apprenticeship, which BIFA helped create in 2018, is an ideal entry point for the industry with over 600 apprentices already having taken the pathway, with great success. It is the only apprenticeship standard with customs as a mandatory module.

“It would be great if we could get that figure past 1,000 by the end of 2022, which is achievable in light of the fact that BIFA’s membership is more than 1,500 companies.”

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