From education to employment

Far horizons: Former Seetec apprentice’s journey from East London to the Far East

Former apprentice Kyle Lawrence is on route to career success with major international logistics and supply chain company Unsworth after seizing every opportunity to learn about the industry.

Kyle, 22, from Barkingside, started his International Trade and Logistics apprenticeship in 2017. Having consciously chosen the apprenticeships route, he was fascinated by the idea that everything around him from cars to clothes was brought to him by the logistics industry.

He said: “When I came in, I was hungry and ready to learn but I was a blank canvass which meant the company could mould my development.

“At first I was nervous, but I worked with great sales people and operators and I was always watching and looking to pick their brains to help further my knowledge. I soon became more confident.”

Kyle’s apprenticeship was undertaken with skills specialist Seetec Outsource and he praised his tutor’s support for his coursework, observing his skills development in the workplace and always being available via email.

“The job is very interesting, there are new challenges and problems to solve every day – dealing with different shipments and being part of our customers’ supply chain,” Kyle said. “It’s exciting that we are helping other companies to grow their business as well growing our business.”

Kyle quickly took responsibility for Amazon logistics, working with many young entrepreneurs and helping Unsworth to increase its Amazon client base by 26% in just four months. He is also passionate about using developing technology to improve the industry.

Miranda Ioannou, Talent and Branding Manager at Unsworth, said: “Unsworth are committed to developing the freight forwarders of the future, by investing in our apprenticeship scheme and actively supporting initiatives like the British International Freight Association (BIFA) Young Forwarder Network. As one of our first apprentices, Kyle’s passion for client care and ability to communicate enabled him to gain business and build trust within his growing client network.

“His natural ability to forge relationships and commitment to personal development led to additional professional development opportunities including training to become a mentor to a new apprentice, guiding, inspiring and passing on his experiences.

“In a very short time in the industry, Kyle has made considerable progress and an outstanding contribution to our company and he has a very bright future.”

Kyle’s willingness to go the extra mile saw him being nominated and shortlisted for Apprentice of the Year in last year’s BIFA Awards.

As his apprenticeship neared completion, he secured a permanent role as an Import Operator dealing predominantly with shipments from China, Singapore and Japan.

Already he has an eye on a future team leader role, having gained experience chairing the South East region of the Young Forwarder Network, set up by BIFA to provide young people in the industry with networking and career development opportunities (Kyle is pictured second from right next to Miranda Ioannou at the launch of the Network’s South East Region).

Kyle said: “I believe positivity is the key to success, making everyone feel welcome and part of a team. Unsworth has this mentality and the Young Forwarder Network does the same by supporting young people in what is a very mature industry – it gives them people they can relate to. It also provides great opportunities to go behind the scenes at ports, airports and warehouses.

“We are moving goods around the world but most of the time we never see them – it really helps to get out and understand how pallets, containers and air freight are loaded and transported.”

Marnie Rose, Client Relationship Manager from Seetec Outsource, said: “Kyle is a great example of how freight forwarding apprentices can develop and progress in a vital and growing, internationally-focused industry.

“Apprenticeships can play a crucial role as part of future workforce planning for major international logistics businesses and in supporting the growth of smaller companies.”

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