The Logistics Hub UK (LHUK) event, heard from business professionals and academics about the skills shortage in the area and about initiatives and drives that are available to tackle this.
Mike Hughes, CEO of Verdion, who has developed an inland port in Doncaster told the group why he chose to locate in the Sheffield City Region: “This region had the availability, it had the infrastructure and importantly it had the ambition.”
The iPort has already attracted big names including Amazon, Fellowes and CEVA and with the rail freight project on the horizon, it will continue to create jobs for people living in the area.
“We need to be looking at supply chain trends, identifying new growth industries such as life sciences and digital industries and ensuring that the local work force is geared up to meet the needs of the employers in these sectors,” added Mike.
Doncaster’s iPort Academy has been created to be a hub bringing together local people who are looking for work and meeting the needs of businesses. Work is already taking place to identify skills gaps and create training.
Hazel Sykes from the iPort Academy said: “We have a real job to do to raise awareness of the types of jobs that are available in the logistics sector. Projects that we are undertaking are about inspiring the next generation and showcasing the wide variety of roles needed to keep this sector moving.”
Dr Erica Ballatyre from the Sheffield University Management School spoke about the importance of the logistics sector, which contributes over £90 billion to the UK economy and currently employs 8 percent of the nation’s workforce, approximately 2.2 million people.
Her message was clear that more needs to be done to address training and that there was an opportunity to get people excited about logistics, technology and the future.
Steve Swann, project manager of the LHUK project, said: “This was a fantastic meeting which has firmly put skills and education on the Sheffield City Region agenda.
“Our members were very interested to hear about the training and help is already available via the iPort Academy, the Sheffield University Skills Bank and Career Transition Partnership. I also know that further discussions are already taking place between some of our private sector businesses and the University and other training partners.
“Meeting the needs of business by having a workforce that is capable of delivering the roles on offer is key. This event was a step in the right direction for the logistics industry in the Sheffield City Region.”
The LHUK group is a membership group established to represent powerful partnership marketing for Sheffield City Region’s logistic sector. It is a partnership of private sector companies committed to the ongoing growth, development and promotion of the logistics and distribution sector in the Sheffield City Region initially, with a view to developing improved activity with other city regions i.e. Leeds, Manchester and Hull.
To find out more about LHUK visit www.logisticshubuk.com.