As hundreds of thousands of young people continue to ponder their next move post A Levels, national training provider System Group is urging many to consider new apprenticeships like the Express Delivery Trailblazer scheme as a pathway to a rewarding driving career.
The advice comes as earlier this month, UCAS revealed a 2% fall in university applications this year. Although this could be ascribed to a shrinking population of 18-year-olds, it could also be the start of a longer-term trend.
The sector remains dogged by concerns that an internet-orientated generation maybe increasingly opting to trade in the prospect of tens of thousands of pounds of debt, which two-thirds will never pay off, for work new work opportunities and experiences, including apprenticeships.
The UK supply chain sector faces a chronic shortage of drivers, who are vital to keeping the wheels of UK plc turning. Indeed, industry trade bodies like the RHA, estimates that the transport and logistics sector is short of between 45,000 and 50,000 drivers and believes the situation could get worse.
But the Trailblazer apprenticeships, which training providers such as System Group are now supporting, can play a seminal part in helping to secure future skills requirements and fill a variety of vital transport and logistics roles with highly qualified and talented people.
They also offer people the chance to earn while they learn an industry recognised qualification, laying out a dedicated career path for those coming into the sector – they lay out a more identifiable career pathway for recruiting and securing future talent.
The dramatic growth of internet shopping and the use of portable ICT devices have transformed those roles involved in express delivery services.
Now, the skills gap is being addressed through sector specific apprenticeships to help express delivery drivers among others to gain the important skills they need to be good at their job, or become ambassadors for their company, and deliver the high standards of customers service.
John Green, operations director at System Group, said A Level results are a timely opportunity to trumpet the highly relevant and varied apprenticeships available in the logistics sector and how they can culminate in a ‘fantastic’ career.
He said: “Young people are at an exciting juncture in their lives but having to make some important decisions.
“Those taking up an Express Trailblazer apprenticeship would be embarking on ‘exciting’ first steps in shaping the path for future generations coming into the logistics sector, who will be looking for rewarding careers.
“The training they will get will support the needs of industry, equipping a new generation of people with the skills, professionalism and confidence to meet the needs of employers.
“They provide the skills and lay out behaviour that will guide future generations into the industry and support them through the challenges and adventures that a career in logistics offers.”
John Green also says there are opportunities outside of apprenticeships for some A-Level students, pointing to the new supply chain sector degree-level apprenticeship standard.
“Anything that contributes to bringing fresh talent into the sector and improving skills has to be a good move, so the world's first apprenticeship route to supply chain leadership roles, has to be welcomed,” he said.
Working with logistics and transport companies, military and government departments, local authorities, national corporations and small businesses as well as individuals and the self-employed, System Group also offers a wide range of qualifications from management and leadership through driver license acquisition through to outsourced learning and development Levy management solutions.