Apprenticeships benefit employers and the young people who undertake them. The Logistics industry is growing more quickly than recruitment can keep up with. The demand for goods to be delivered quickly and cost effectively means that the industry is constantly adapting and reviewing its infrastructure. One thing is sure, though: the UK industry needs drivers.
A Logistics Apprenticeship programme of training is predominantly hands on so apprentices gain experience driving, develop skills to work with customers, learn about health and safety and are rewarded with a nationally recognised qualification.
CEMEX’s Logistics Apprenticeship scheme is entering its third year as a result of its continued success. The last group of apprentices graduated earlier this year. The apprentices, all under 23 years old, included the first woman Logistics Apprentice, Christina Wilcox, who as well as being the first woman Logistics apprentice was also one of the first six cement apprentices.
“After leaving school I soon realised I wanted more from life than being office-based and I love a challenge. The CEMEX Logistics Apprentice scheme attracted me because it is a challenge. I am the fifth woman in the Logistics team so there are not many us. The scheme was enjoyable with every day bringing something new,” comments Christina.
The need for the Apprentice scheme highlights a recognized UK skill gap, that of an aging population of large goods vehicle (LGV) drivers. Apprenticeships are a perfect avenue to fill the skills gap and tackle the problem of an aging driver population. It is also a great way of proving that not only can young people thrive in the industry but that women can thrive in it too.
“We’ve seen female candidates excelling across all logistics training we do at System Group,” Emily White, Centre Manager at System Group’s Carlisle training centre observed. “We’ve also seen a real upswing in the number of young people undergoing training, which is really welcome. Apprenticeship Programmes like the ones with CEMEX are amazing opportunities to get into logistics and be paid while you are getting high quality training and real hands on experience.”