Skills for Logistics (SfL) has formally launched the Occupational Craft Skills Groups as a major step towards enhancing the skills of the UK's Logistics Sector. Skills for Logistics has joined forces with industry trade associations to launch the Craft Skills Groups, which will bring together the sector's employers and experts to review skills needs and drive forward skills solutions, while putting logistics employers in the driving seat on skills issues across the UK.
Nine Occupational Craft Skills Groups, covering each of the occupational groups in the sector, are being established. Each one is chaired by a representative of the relevant trade association:
- Driving, chaired by the Road Haulage Association (RHA)
- Fleet Management, chaired by the Freight Transport Association (FTA)
- International Trade, chaired by the British International Freight Association (BIFA)
- Logistics Operations, chaired by Skills for Logistics (SfL)
- Mail and Packaging, chaired by the Institute of Couriers (IOC)
- Supply Chain Operations Management, chaired by the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT)
- Terminal Operations, chaired by Port Skills & Safety (PSS)
- Warehousing, chaired by the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA)
- Wholesaling, chaired by the Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD)
Each Craft Skills Group will analyse skills issues across the UK, identify priorities for action and advise on specific solutions and skills products such as apprenticeships and National Occupational Standards. In addition to advising on solutions, the groups will contribute to the development of sector research and skills policies.
Crucially, they will be asked to devise a 'gold-standard' for competencies for each individual job. For example, a Goods-In clerk might have 10 essential competences, which will become the effective 'gold standard'. Eventually there will be a set of standard, generic competences across all of the logistics functions that are determined by real operators, endorsed by the relevant Trade Association or Professional Institute and that will be accredited by Skills for Logistics as the industry gold standard, which companies can then sign up to. This will feed into SfL's comprehensive careers offers to encourage entry into the Logistics Sector and to support progression and progress up The Professional Development Stairway, which has also been developed by Skills for Logistics. (For more information on how to use the stairway visit: http://thestairway.org/)
Mick Jackson, CEO of Skills for Logistics, commented: "The UK Logistics Sector can transform its performance through upskilling, giving the country a greater edge in an increasingly competitive world. But to achieve this the industry needs to develop innovative skills solutions, which will help logistics employers to get the best outcomes from their recruitment, manpower planning and staff development activities. The new Craft Skills Groups will have a critical role to play in determining skills needs, initiating solutions and driving them forward. This can best be achieved by having each craft group chaired by the relevant trade association or professional institute.
"To further ensure these groups accurately reflect employer demand, it is also vital that they are made up of real operators with 'on-the-ground' experience. We would therefore encourage logistics employers to become craft group members."
Following the formal launch, each of the groups will hold its first meeting in the autumn 2012.