The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has urged its members to step up apprenticeship recruitment.
The call comes during National Apprenticeship Week (February 5-11) with the trade association taking the opportunity to remind its members that the International Freight Forwarding Specialist Apprenticeship programme, which BIFA helped create in 2018, is an ideal entry point for the industry.
BIFA states that most of its members are SMEs and may be nervous about apprenticeship recruitment, so – as part of National Apprenticeship Week – BIFA is running an online event for members on February 8, that will assist in navigating the perceived red tape around recruiting apprentices.
Carl Hobbis, BIFA member services director, who has responsibility for the trade association’s training and development programme, said: “More than 1,000 apprentices have already started the pathway, with great success.
“However, the 184 apprentices that have started the International Freight Forwarding Specialist Apprenticeship during the last 12 months, represents a reduction of 27%, year-on-year.
“Forwarding businesses have many difficult commercial decisions to make, but shelving apprenticeships should not be one of them.
“We are at an important crossroads and we must protect the future of the sector, which has an aging employee dynamic and needs an influx of new blood.”
Steve Parker, BIFA director general, concludes: “Now, more than ever, we need to promote the industry and give young people employment opportunities.
“We have had an apprenticeship standard for international freight forwarding for six years and the sector continues to be in the spotlight as a result of the current supply chain disruptions, so what a great time to give someone an opportunity of a career in freight forwarding and logistics.”
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