Last week I was proud to be asked to speak at the Salford City College’s launch of their Career Ready Logistics Centre.

Career Ready is a UK wide charity linking employers with schools and colleges to open up the world of work to young people. They offer a structured programme of study for 16-19 year olds, which sits alongside students’ school or college coursework. It is delivered by employer volunteers who provide masterclasses, mentoring, workplace visits and internships to help their students compete with the best in the country.

Think Logistics work in partnership with Career Ready and as an active member of their steering group I take a close interest in the work that is done to try and attract fresh young talent in to logistics.

Think Logistics is an industry-led initiative which involves experts working in Logistics visiting schools and colleges to educate a group of 16-19 year olds on the Logistics industry and the opportunities that exist. Career Ready have a network of schools that they work with which plays a significant part in helping to get the message out to the target audience.

As Sales Director Cast UK, a professional level recruitment consultancy specialising in procurement, buying, supply chain and logistics, I was asked to present to an audience of local employers and students who were either interested in joining the programme or who were currently undertaking other programmes run by Career Ready. My presentation explained exactly what logistics is, what the benefits of working in the sector are and what qualifications, skills and attributes employers look for when recruiting.

The message during the presentation was that, just as I did 20 years ago, most people I talk to stumble across the logistics sector as a career path.

Prior to working in recruitment, I fell into logistics 20 years ago, starting as a warehouse operative and driver, progressing on to supervisor roles then moving into management positions. I spent 10 years in operational logistics in a variety of roles working as many different shift patterns and varied hours of work as you can imagine. I certainly never grew up thinking I would take up a career in logistics. Once I was working in the sector, I found that I actually quite enjoyed the career progression available, and it’s this message we are keen to spread to the next generation.

Having worked in professional level recruitment for 8 years now, I still don’t talk to many logisticians who set out to pursue a career in the sector. I also don’t see enough young people coming into logistics. I have many customers who head up a variety of different logistics operations who see the lack of younger entrants into the sector as worrying trend for the longer term.

I am a great admirer of the work that both Career Ready and Think Logistics do and the passion with which they do it. The traction they are looking to gain in 2016 and beyond is extremely impressive. If they are to achieve their targets then they need the ongoing support of businesses and individuals within the logistics sector. If you can offer support then please visit their websites for guidance on how you can help;