A major new initiative designed to attract, encourage and increase the numbers of talented young personnel joining the logistics sector will guarantee a graduate job after the completion of a four year course.
The scheme, jointly launched this month by the University of Huddersfield and the Novus Trust, will result in a BSc degree in Supply Chain and Logistics, and will feature mentoring throughout the course, holiday work at the end of the first year, industry placements in the third year, and a guaranteed graduate job on completion after meeting the qualifying criteria.
The scheme, the brainchild of Andy Kaye, CEO of leading supply chain recruitment agency BiS Henderson, will be piloted from September 2013 at the University of Huddersfield, and is organised by the Novus Trust, a consortium of major logistics operators. Novus will steer the pilot initiative, which is managed by The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT).
The course covers supply chain management; finance; statistics; organisational structure and methods; sociology and psychology; transport network design; warehouse design; inventory management; supply chain IT and HR management.
Andy Kaye says: 'This logistics degree course is unique. It not only teaches the theory of logistics but also gives the opportunity to put it into practice. The first two years will be in the university. The third year and summer break takes place in a paid industrial placement, with the fourth year being an industry-based thesis and final exams.
'The industry sponsors will be willing to invest money and time over a minimum five year term. The income will provide facilities, research, bursaries, administrative support and additional learning resources.'
CILT Chief Executive Steve Agg said: 'We are delighted to give both our support and our administrative experience to the Novus Trust. It is vital for the success of the UK as a whole that the best students consider a career in supply chain, logistics and transport. All too often young people choosing a degree are unaware of our profession, or what it has to offer; but with a guaranteed job at the end of the course for those who graduate, our profile is set to rise swiftly.'
CILT says that the scheme is set to be led by industry, for industry, and is intended to fill a chronic skills gap – the logistics industry has experienced a regrettable shortage of sufficient graduate recruitment for many years and existing programmes are not presently supplying sufficient numbers of talented individuals. David Leach, from the University of Huddersfield, says: 'The demand for our graduates has always outstripped the supply of young people choosing to study the subject. The Novus scheme is a great way for industry and the university sector to work together to encourage more talented people in to the industry.'
It is presently planned to also run the scheme at up to three more universities, possibly more, if there is sufficient demand and enough sponsoring companies.