BIFA to launch online events for firms navigating apprenticeships red tape

Monthly online events are being developed by The British International Freight Association to help its members navigate the perceived complexity and red tape associated with apprentices.

They will start on April 21 and the 45 minute sessions will give participants an understanding of the administration involved including school engagement, the recruitment process, candidate onboarding, cost implications, as well as some tips from BIFA’s own experience.

There will be further events on May 26 and June 16 and interested persons can register on BIFA’s website:

The trade association that represents UK freight forwarding and logistics businesses is a vocal supporter of apprentices ands there potential to address recruitment challenges in the sector.

Carl Hobbis, one of BIFA’s executive directors, who has responsibility for the trade association’s training and development programme, including apprenticeships, says:

“It is vital that we continue to attract the younger generation to the sector. The recruitment of freight forwarding apprentices will do that whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills to face the challenges ahead in the post-Brexit and post Covid-19 world.

Hobbis added that the International Freight Forwarding Specialist Apprenticeship, which BIFA helped create in 2018, is “an ideal entry point for the industry with over 1,000 apprentices already having started on the pathway, with great success”.

Most of BIFA’s 1,600 members are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the trade association will be using its own experience of employing its first apprentice to showcase to those members the actions needed to take the first steps in the apprentice recruitment process.

Hobbis said: “BIFA members that are large organisations are likely to have their own teams to look after processes involved in apprentice recruitment, and we know that many have programmes in place that are already delivering results.

“As an SME ourselves, when we considered recruiting an apprentice, we had some concerns, but like many things that can appear daunting on paper, the recruitment process and subsequent administration work has proved to be straightforward.

“So, we hope that a demonstration of our own experience will encourage even more of the BIFA members that are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to do the same and hopefully give a young person, or two, an opportunity to develop a career in logistics.

“I will be hosting the monthly events, but participants will hear first-hand from communications manager Natalie Pitts and our apprentice Brooke Neilson who will share their experiences.

“Industry promotion is one of BIFA’s key roles and part of that is encouraging logistics as a career path and attracting new talent to the freight forwarding and logistics industry.

“Apprenticeships are one avenue, as is our school engagement programme, as well as our Freight Development Pathway initiative, which aims to help identify, attract and train suitable candidates from outside of the freight forwarding and logistics sector for career opportunities with members of BIFA.”


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