National Apprenticeship Week 2023, from 6-12 February, focuses on the theme ‘Skills for Life’. The logistics industry has gone through a period of great change over the last few years and Seetec Outsource apprentices are helping firms navigate the latest regulations and improve their own lives.
Former apprentices who joined the logistics industry with wide ranging backgrounds and aged from their teens to their forties are playing a vital role in ensuring goods from across the globe reach their destination.
As part of National Apprenticeship Week, skills specialist Seetec Outsource is highlighting the variety of talent they are helping to shine in this specialist industry.
George Davies, 40, from Worcester, left school at 16 without any qualifications, starting work immediately as an MOT Tester’s assistant at a local garage.
With a clear passion to work in the automotive industry, George quickly progressed to a managerial position.
After experiencing some personal issues, his career took an unexpected route – a Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) driver apprenticeship has now helped him rebuild his life.
George was introduced to Seetec Outsource, “They have been absolutely fantastic, they genuinely seemed to care,” he explained.
Having suffered with anxiety, George’s first step back on the road was to attend a ‘Dealing with anxiety’ course. “Then Seetec Outsource helped me to put my CV together and discussed what job I wanted to do.”
Seetec Outsource identified the opportunity to apply for an LGV driver apprenticeship with construction materials group Breedon.
“I wanted to finally get some qualifications. I believe the apprenticeship will give me a career with prospects,” George explained.
As it was George’s first job interview in 15 years, Seetec Outsource helped him with an interview preparation workshop. The interview day at Leicester Tigers rugby ground was still a shock, but George is delighted with the support he has received from Breedon.
“I started straight away. I went to Nottingham for a day and was given my high-vis, a laptop and phone and was assigned to Tewkesbury Concrete Plant.
“Breedon are a brilliant company, they’ve all been welcoming and helpful and understanding about supporting my career.”
At first, George was unable to drive Breedon’s vehicles on the road and instead he worked on site, driving a 20-tonne loading shovel. He also took the opportunity to complete his apprenticeship modules ahead of schedule.
“If you sit down and do the preparation, it’s enjoyable, you get a buzz when you’ve completed them and you get positive feedback,” he said.
George has now passed his theory and practical driving test and Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) test, making him a fully-qualified driver. He has also achieved Maths and English qualifications.
“If people say apprenticeships are for school leavers, I tell them I just wanted prospects,” he said.
“I hadn’t got any qualifications, I just had life experience. I wish I had been like this at 18 and had the dedication and commitment.”
Cameron Smith, 21, completed his International Freight Forwarding apprenticeship at Ligentia, and has now landed a permanent role as a Multi Modal Operator – moving goods to and from the UK via land, sea and air.
He said: “To be honest, I hadn’t considered logistics as an option but there are so many upsides to the industry.
“People tell me that once you get into logistics, you never get out, and I can see myself remaining because it would seem like almost a waste to close the door on everything I have learned.
“If you put in the hard work then there are so many opportunities available, whatever your motivation is.
“You don’t have to know everything straight away, you just have to be eager to learn and if you work hard then you will definitely get recognised.”
Joseph Freestone, 21, has taken on not one but two apprenticeships to help supercharge his career prospects.
He initially completed an International Freight Forwarding apprenticeship at supply chain specialist Woodland Group.
His success led him to taking the role of Customs Entry Clerk, but he wanted to continue to develop his skills with a view to securing a management role in the future.
Now, alongside his current role, he is also completing a Team Leader/Supervisor apprenticeship, supported by Seetec Outsource.
“It has given me a really different perspective on management and the things which come with it,” Joseph said about his latest apprenticeship.
“Doing an apprenticeship on top of your work responsibilities is not for the faint hearted.
“I am having to work hard to complete coursework in the evenings and at the weekend.
“It’s a sacrifice, but hopefully one which will pay off in the long run.”
Richard Lissimore-Hird, Group Training Manager at Woodland Group, said:
“As an employer who believes strongly in staff progression, development and promoting from within, apprenticeships give Woodland Group an incredible platform to not only support, but also showcase new and rising talent within our company and the wider industry.
“We are constantly searching for the next generation of logistics superstars, with a vast majority of our current apprentices joining us straight from school or college. But, we also use apprenticeships to advance the skills of current team members, giving them the tools and practical experience to step in to new roles and even promotions across the group.”
Wei Jia, 41, was previously a client of Woodland Group when she would import goods from China to sell in the UK.
She has proved age is no barrier by completing her apprenticeship in her 40s, while looking after her two children.
She said: “I wanted to find something interesting and where I could build a future career.
“When I saw the apprenticeship advertised, I recognised the name Woodland straight away.
“I would tell people like me that apprenticeships are really good. It might be hard, but no pain, no gain, and once you have completed it then you are set for a bright future.”
Lloyd DeVal, Director of Sector Skills at Seetec Outsource, said:
“For individuals of all ages, whether school leavers or those looking to retrain, logistics apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities to learn, earn and develop their skills and their futures.
“For employers in an industry facing shortages of skilled workers, apprenticeships are the ideal way to build loyalty and grow your own talent.”
To find out more about logistics apprenticeships with Seetec Outsource, see: www.seetecoutsource.co.uk/programme-sector/transport-and-logistics/