The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023: Driving Diversity and Inclusion Forward

The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023: Driving Diversity and Inclusion Forward

Designed to promote the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion across the logistics industry, Nimble Media have once again partnered with Talent in Logistics to bring you The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge – a teambuilding event open to the logistics industry which will take place on 22 June 2023 at Newark Showground in the heart of the East Midlands.

The first Diversity Challenge was launched in 2016 across the rail sector with the opportunity for companies to come together in a non-formal environment to network and team build whilst undertaking a range of mental and physical challenges. The concept has continued to grow and has demonstrated the benefits attained when companies improve diversity and work together as a

Equality, diversity, and inclusion is at the core of The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge and the event will bring together logistics professionals to look at how to tackle diversity collaboratively and collectively through fun physical and mental team challenges.

The event is also a platform for the industry to share best practice, network, team-build and help shape what the profession should do next to support a more inclusive sector.

With an overall mission to encourage the logistics sector to focus on their people strategies, the events delivery partner, Talent in Logistics, is dedicated to the recruitment, development, engagement, and retention of the 2.5 million+ people working in transport, logistics and warehousing. Dedicated to supporting HR, L&D, Training & Operational professionals, the company was
specifically developed to support these employers and aim to encourage them to address skills, training, and career progression to retain exceptional staff and attract new employees.

Laura Nelson, Managing Director of Talent in Logistics said, “When we talk about diversity we often focus on rebalancing gender and biological sex distribution in the workforce in our industry. Genuine diversity is about so much more. The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge showcases the benefits real diversity and inclusion bring to businesses and teams. Plus, it’s a great day out
that raises awareness alongside the fun.”

The 2023 event will also see the return of our chosen charity, Transaid, an international development charity. Founded by Save the Children, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) and its patron, HRH The Princess Royal.

Transaid has more than 20 years’ worth of expertise in multiple countries with partners and governments, empowering people to build the skills they need to transform their lives, through safe, available, and sustainable transport. Transaid identifies, champions, implements, and shares local transport solutions to improve access to basic services and economic opportunity for people in developing countries.

Florence Bearman, Transaid’s Acting Co-Chief Executive said, “Transaid is delighted that The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge is back again in 2023 and it is fantastic to see this event continue to go from strength to strength. It has been a pleasure to see so many of the industry’s future stars take part in an event that champions the important topics of inclusion, equality and diversity. We look forward to meeting the next set of teams in 2023 and supporting them through another tricky Transaid challenge!”

For more information on the event, please contact 01780 432930 or email

Businesses must lead on creating an “industry of choice” for diverse talent, says Government report

Businesses must lead on creating an “industry of choice” for diverse talent, says Government report

The long awaited ‘Future of Freight: a long-term plan’ was released by the Department for Transport (DfT) in June 2022. The report sets out the starting point for Government-industry collaboration going forward in a bid to address the key challenges facing the transport and logistics industry. For those responsible for attracting, engaging, and developing talent, there are a number of key takeaways which we summarise in this article.

The Future of Freight plan priorities set out in the report are:

  • National Freight Network
  • Enabling the transition to Net Zero
  • Planning
  • People and skills
  • Data and technology

The report’s ministerial foreword from Trudy Harrison MP makes clear that the top two items are the main concern, stating: “Our most pressing national priorities: from building back after the pandemic and levelling up, to reducing our greenhouse emissions, all rely on the freight sector.”

However, the report also recognises the vital role that people will play in the recovery of the industry. The focus of the ‘People and Skills’ plan shows a particular commitment to working with the freight and transport industry to strengthen its longer-term employment and skills offer and ‘reset the sector’s image.’

The new plan acknowledges that “getting people in place with the right skills is key to not only resilience in the sector but also the economy as a whole.” It cites that severe post-Covid/BREXIT HGV/LGV driver shortage was indicative of a longer-term issue, which the new plan aims to resolve.

In short, the aim is to “Produce a pipeline of talent across the freight sector by improving the training and employment options; addressing awareness and negative perceptions of the industry; and promote the availability of attractive, fulfilling jobs at all levels of the industry.”

It is suggested that the industry will need to lead this, with the Government’s collaboration and support. There are five key parts to the plan.

Deliver Generation Logistics campaign in 2022

Work has already begun on the forthcoming ‘Generation Logistics’ campaign to address the industry’s image and raise awareness of the breadth of career options across freight and logistics.

DfT, in partnership with Logistics UK and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), will deliver an industry led campaign to provide greater visibility of the industry, shift perceptions, improve diversity, and address recruitment gaps. The Generation Logistics campaign aims to increase awareness by 25%, and positive sentiment by 40% in the first 12 months.

As we know at Talent in Logistics, encouraging the next generation of logistics workers is key, so it is timely that this will also be part of the focus of the new campaign.

Ensure the Transport Employment and Skills Taskforce meets our future skills needs in freight and logistics

As part of the Future of Freight plan, DfT has also created the Transport Employment and Skills Taskforce (TEST). This has a specific focus on addressing skills and training challenges in the transport industry.

In the past, there has been much criticism that the measures put in place by the Government were disconnected from the real needs of transport employers and employees. The consultation leading up to this report will guide TEST. The Taskforce’s approach is not yet confirmed but promises to tackle “the barriers and opportunities to developing skills and careers across the transport sector.”

There is still a desire to increase apprenticeships in transport. However, the Department for Education (DfE) have introduced greater flexibility to enable employers to spend apprenticeship levy funds on more flexible apprenticeship training models. At the same time, a range of other Government-funded skills programmes remain available to support training and retraining, such as Skills Bootcamps, T Levels, and traineeships.

Support a programme of employer engagement

Part of the approach to apprenticeships also relates to employers. DfT, supported by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department for Education (DfE) are aiming to improve employer understanding of the benefits of government-funded skills intervention, including apprenticeships.

The report also confirms that there is a need to increase awareness of the different career options to fill skills gaps. Furthermore, the Government intends to collaborate with industry-led campaigns to promote routes into key freight and logistics careers. The report also states that the Government will be working to improve links between the industry and DfE to better promote training and employment schemes. Meanwhile, a review of training incentives available for freight and logistics business versus their business needs will be undertaken through the Freight Council.

The ultimate goal of this part of the ‘People and Skills’ element of the Future of Freight plan is for the industry to see a reduction in the time it takes to fill vacancies.

Reform Freight and Logistics training offers to encourage transferable qualifications

The new plan also sets out intentions for reform of freight and logistics training offers. Key to this is identifying “which transferable skills would allow candidates to take roles across the freight and logistics sector.”

The goal is to better align with employer-led standards by investing in

  • Employer led classroom-based learning
  • Occupational traineeships
  • Retraining opportunities, such as Skills Bootcamps

Support efforts to boost diversity within the sector

The new report recognises the need to understand the causes behind a lack of diversity across the transport industry, where the image of a male-dominated “boys’ club” still remains. For example, the median age of an HGV/LGV driver is fifty-five, and less than 1% of HGV/LGV drivers are women. There is also a documented pay gap of 10.4% between men and women in large transport companies. In addition, only 3% of the haulage workforce are from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, compared to 19% of the whole national workforce.

While the plan does not stipulate any particular measures to tackle diversity, it reminds that “Any sector that is failing to recruit from the entire population is more likely to run into labour shortages”. The report states that success will be achieved when the “Industry delivers an improvement in diversity in relation to age, gender, and ethnicity within the sector.”

What does the future hold for talent in transport?

This report is not the first time that plans to address industry issues have been put into place by the Government. Nor are these the first training reforms or taskforces. Many of the measures will have both supporters and detractors. How successful the new plans are will only be seen in the fullness of time.

Regardless, the launch of the report should at least help shine the spotlight on a sector which is often overlooked, despite being essential to both the economy and our day-to-day lives. Changing the transport industry’s reputation and strengthening its talent pipeline will not happen overnight. But what is clear, is that the Government’s support can only take us so far.  To make a change and secure future talent, businesses in the industry have a vital role to play, now more than ever.

Act now to help overcome people and skills challenges

To take action on recruiting, developing, engaging, and retaining the very best people within the transport and logistics industries, visit our Resources area for free research reports and educational webinars and podcasts. Our blogs also offer a wealth of practical advice for employers, training, and HR professionals looking to address skills gaps and better look after their valuable talent.

For further support and advice, be sure to also sign up to the Talent in Logistics newsletter.


Appraising Appraisals: why your operation should consider using them

Appraising Appraisals: why your operation should consider using them

Appraisal systems are a widely used tool in the business world. But in recent years, they have begun to fall out of favour in some leading organisations. Dell, Microsoft, IBM and Gap have all abandoned appraisals in recent years. Is the time right to give appraisals the boot? Or is there a better option? And can we make them work for our transport, warehousing and logistics operations?

Why Appraisals?

The concept behind appraisals makes sense. As employees we are often told that appraisals are a resource.

An appraisals system gives us a way to try and make the most of that resource. This includes a means of measuring performance or progress and providing useful feedback.

Appraisals can help in identifying problem areas or employee strengths that can be harnessed. The right support at the right time can help turn stragglers into leaders or boost contenders into champions. Appraisals are a great way to take a breath and pause for a moment while you consider: how am I doing?

Some supporters even argue that appraisals can motivate employees if they are tied to compensation systems but – for reasons we are about to get into – we strongly advise against linking the two.

Issues with Appraisals

Despite the seemingly clear advantages of such a system, appraisal systems have been criticised in recent years. Most of the criticisms seem to focus not so much on the idea of checking in to give feedback as to the methods that are used and the tendency to use appraisal as an ‘employee ranking’ system.

Many appraisal systems rely on managers giving their employees rating or scores. Coming up with a decent set of criteria to judge employees by is hard. If you get it wrong, you may not be able to judge performance fairly. That can be a big stress for both managers and employees. Plus, if the managers in your team have even slightly different priorities, personalities or viewpoints, they might evaluate exactly the same performance two different ways. That’s bad news if you are tying appraisal systems to rewards or rankings; it just isn’t fair, and everyone will be able to see it. A poorly designed appraisal system is worse than a waste of time. It’s a big demotivator.

So how do you get around these problems? If you want the benefits but none of the headaches, here are a few pointers.

Give up on the grail of objectivity

One of the biggest problems with many appraisals systems is that they are meant to be objective. But the systems put in place to achieve this often ignore a simple fact – managers are human. Their judgements are subjective and personal. Perhaps a more sensible approach is to lean into that and abandon the idea of coming up with a precise, scientific system for ranking employees against each other. Instead, use the process to take stock, check in with how employees are feeling, identify potential issues and opportunities, and find areas for growth.

Avoid criteria and scoring systems altogether

The problem here is that we’re not machines. Measuring performance isn’t like measuring fuel consumption. People are complex. There are simply too many variables at play to measure everything. And how do you even measure something like motivation or skills development? Rather than trying to break a job (or a person) down into a set of categories, look at things holistically. Fortunately, people are much better than machines at two crucial things: storytelling and big picture thinking. Don’t bother with stats and tables. Focus on talking through real events which have happened, and use those as a springboard for personal reflection, goal-setting and coaching.

Keep it Simple, Rinse and Repeat

It can be tempting to try and micromanage, but avoid this temptation. Lengthy, excessively formal appraisal systems are a lot of work. That means they are an opportunity cost. You spend time doing them instead of doing something else. In order to justify appraisal, it actually needs to help make you money! So do it, but use a light touch. Don’t fall for heavyweight, all-singing all-dancing approaches. Even if they work properly, they’re unlikely to be worth the cost. And frequently, they cause more problems than they are worth.

Better systems are agile, quick to implement, and easy to repeat. Check in little and often. Evidence from the education sector tells us feedback is vastly more useful when you get it soon after a learning experience. Wait too long, and the opportunity is lost. Having frequent check-ins can also help create a feeling of connection between managers and employees. They show the team is invested in making things work, together.

To help implement appraisals systems into your SME operation, we have identified a few useful resources to help get you started.

For further guidance and support, a range of useful resources can be found on the Talent in Logistics website here.


How to lead a culture of wellbeing and resilience

How to lead a culture of wellbeing and resilience

From hospitality to manufacturing, healthcare to construction, many industries are struggling to recruit the talent needed. The transport, warehousing, and logistics industry is no exception. So, what strategies can small, medium or large businesses adopt to tackle this issue that they haven’t tried before?

One solution that is, unsurprisingly, suggested is increased pay. During post-BREXIT LGV/HGV driver shortages, the UK Government suggested that better pay and conditions may attract more people into these roles. It encouraged businesses to make “long-term investments” in the workforce.

Yet just raising pay is not always an option in financially uncertain times. Moreover, various research shows that money is only one factor in employee satisfaction, recruitment, and retention, and not necessarily the most important.

So, what if businesses in the logistics industry took a different approach, and instead of a long-term investment in pay and bonuses, invested in creating a culture of wellbeing and resilience in their organisations to truly look after the workforce? After all, an organisation’s most valuable asset is its people.

Wellbeing – why bother?

Wellbeing is not just about site safety and preventing workplace accidents. It is about the physical, emotional, and mental health of employees, day in, day out.

This falls within the overall ‘duty of care’ that an employer has to employees. As such, many larger organisations, particularly those with dedicated HR teams, will have some practices and schemes in place to support this. However, wellbeing culture is achievable to logistics organisations of any size.

A bad culture around employee wellbeing can be extremely detrimental to your business. Low employee wellbeing results in:

  • Poor physical and mental health
  • Lower employee engagement levels
  • High staff turnover
  • Increased mistakes and errors
  • Decreased productivity
  • Higher sickness and absence levels
  • Poor customer service
  • Negative company reputation
  • Reduced profits.

Some employers believe the solution is to invest in fitness-based wellness programs for their team. However, with much of the logistics workforce struggling with long hours, shift work, and poor work-life balance, taking advantage of such schemes is often unachievable. And if employees cannot embrace this type of wellbeing initiative, how can they, and the business, benefit?

The more effective alternative is to start by creating the right culture.

We can think of workplace culture as the attitudes, beliefs and behaviours that make up the usual working atmosphere and dictate what it really means to be an employee at that business. This might not be what is captured in the employee handbook, but more the unspoken set of rules about how things are done, and how employees act.

When wellbeing becomes a core part of that culture, businesses can experience benefits such as more enthusiastic participation, greater peer support, more effective managers, and better business results.

To introduce wellbeing into company culture, logistics employers can follow three steps.

  1. Understand the existing workplace wellbeing culture

Investigate first how your business currently supports or discourages wellbeing.

For instance:

  • Are staff working long hours for low pay?
  • Can they take annual leave when they need to?
  • Are they expected to respond to calls or emails outside of working hours?
  • Are they really motivated, or actually unduly stressed?
  • Is job insecurity causing worry?
  • Do they feel their manager cares about their wellbeing?

Conducting employee surveys or group discussions is invaluable for gathering these insights.

  1. Develop wellbeing initiatives for YOUR employees

Different workforces may face slightly different struggles. For instance, if stress is identified in the employee survey as the key issue, there are different ways to tackle this.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines workplace stress as “…The adverse reaction people have to excessive pressures or other types of demand placed on them at work…”. It can result in decreased productivity and reduction in physical or mental health. For some, resilience training may be helpful. Whereas stress prevention, or support services for those with stress may better suit some companies.

If mental ill-health such as depression or anxiety is rife, greater wellbeing will be achieved through open communication with management and creating an environment free from stigma. Having trained mental health first-aiders in the workplace will also help.

However, maybe you identify that employees feel isolated or need a greater sense of purpose for their individual wellbeing. In these cases, company culture should include opportunities for teams to regularly connect and socialise, and opportunities for new responsibilities, professional development, and personal achievement.

Whatever the challenges, when your management has ideas for wellbeing initiatives, ask employees for their opinions. Involving them in the development of these schemes helps create a sense of ownership and greater engagement.

  1. Set the example from management level

Research has shown that having a supportive manager is incredibly important to many workers in logistics. Managers also play a vital role in defining company culture.

Therefore, they must understand the importance of employee wellbeing, and receive training on this if needed. Many may simply be unaware that greater wellbeing is often more effective for achieving measurable business success than getting employees working longer hours.

Moreover, they should lead by example, ensuring that they practice what they preach when it comes to wellbeing. And of course, communication is key for managers to create a supportive work environment for their teams with open dialogue around wellbeing.

Leading permanent change

Rather than focusing only on “the numbers”, businesses have an opportunity to create lasting cultural change by turning their attention to their people.

Once wellbeing is embedded within a company’s culture, it needs to be maintained through the right monitoring and management. This is what turns an initiative into a permanent change for the better. A change that results in improved employee retention, and a more attractive workplace for the new talent our industry really needs.

Free logistics HR resources

For more ideas on improving employee engagement, evolving company cultures, or talent acquisition, check out our free Talent in Logistics resources.

Why EDI matters NOW in warehousing, transport, and logistics

Why EDI matters NOW in warehousing, transport, and logistics

The warehousing, transport, and logistics industry is facing skills shortages. Many are putting recruitment and reskilling initiatives in place to try and fill roles, yet are still left asking ‘Where are we going to get our people from?’.

One issue with bridging these skills gaps is the perceived talent pool. Typically, the workforce in is dominated by people who identify as ethnically white (91% – Logistics UK) and male (anywhere from 85% to 94% in different studies). Some roles are also predominantly carried out by an ageing workforce.

It’s easy to assume therefore that these are the people that must be recruited. So, that’s who wants the job, and likes the job, and this approach always worked before. Right? Yet replacing ‘like with like’ is not working, and not solving the skills crisis.

This is exactly why equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) matters in our industry now more than ever. EDI opens doors to a wider talent pool, makes you a more attractive employer, and provides a positive working culture that retains valuable people.

We’ve established that we need to widen the talent pool and recruit from a more diverse group of people. So, who are they? And how does this translate into a more inclusive workplace?

Closing the gender gap

Women are underrepresented in the logistics industry. According to Logistics UK, less than 14% of employees are female, and there is a low proportion of female leaders. This is an opportunity for employers. Firstly, it’s an untapped well of potential talent. Secondly, it’s a chance to create a more diverse and welcoming workforce that is more profitable too. Research by PwC showed that there is a link between a more gender-balanced workforce and higher financial returns.

What’s more, research showed that women in leadership roles in logistics are rated higher in the majority of core competencies than their male colleagues. They are excelling in areas such as empathy, clear direction, constructive feedback, trust, and teamwork. We can surely agree that talented leaders result in better teams, and in turn a better culture.

In addition, creating a culture made up with both male and female leadership, where positive role models of all genders can influence the company culture will be far more appealing than the perceived logistics ‘boys club’. Ensuring pay equality, could also encourage more women into roles in logistics.

It is great to see that some organisations are putting specific measures in place to address gender inequality. For example, FedEx launched the UK’s Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN). The network enables women in the business to share their experiences and learn from one another. PD Ports also recently announced a company-wide diversity pledge that includes addressing gender imbalance.

Enabling disability recruitment

One important potential talent pool that is left largely untapped is working-age people with a disability. More than 4 million people with a disability in the UK are currently looking for work.  These are potentially skilled, loyal, and hardworking employees in the making.

Employers may have different reasons why they historically haven’t considered actively recruiting from this group, whether that is due to uncertainties about ability or the day-to-day requirements of those with disabilities or health conditions.

However, the government offers guidance and resources to support with this. . By helping businesses to encourage a shift in attitudes, behaviours, and cultures, they can then draw from the widest pool of talent. At the same time, this inclusive approach also shows existing employees that you have a culture of equality and fairness. In turn, this can help improve morale and employee engagement, supporting greater retention in the existing workforce.

Think differently about thinking differently

Employers are perhaps not embracing the advantages of neurodiversity in the workforce as much as they could.

Around 15% of the UK population is estimated to be neurodivergent. This means that their brains function, learn, and process information differently. This includes people with Attention Deficit Disorders (ADHD), Autism, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia. Neurodivergent people can often bring different ways of thinking, challenge process norms, display a high level of attention to detail and become loyal, committed employees.

By learning more about neurodiversity (and taking steps to better support it), both employers and employees in the workplace will benefit hugely. Making accommodations and being flexible helps support a culture of EDI that neurodivergent employees can thrive in. It can be as simple as finding ways to communicate that employees are comfortable with, and considering this during the recruitment phase as well. Everybody is different, so what one person might be comfortable with, another might find difficult. Treating people as individuals is key.

Act on LGBTQ+ equality

Research by campaigning charity Stonewall found that many workers in the UK continue to feel discriminated against for their sexuality or gender identity. Creating a culture of EDI creates a workplace where this doesn’t have to be an issue, making you an attractive employer to a range of people that would be uncomfortable in a workplace with inaccurate binary divisions.

In the Stonewall study, 35% of LGBT staff say they have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT within the workplace. Many said they would not feel confident reporting homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying to their employer. So, it’s vital that we address this with managers who are approachable, and workplaces based on a culture of respect, with zero tolerance for certain language and behaviours.

Beyond that, a truly inclusive workplace should celebrate diversity. For instance, enabling non-binary or trans people to wear work attire that reflects their gender expression can help ensure every employee can truly feel themselves in the workplace.

Attracting a fresh generation of talent

According to Logistics UK, ‘80% of millennials believe a diversity and inclusion policy is important when deciding to work for a company’. Therefore, the measures above will not only help make a business more attractive to underrepresented groups, but to a whole a new generation of young talent.

An important consideration at this point is also unconscious bias. It is easy to deliberately look for employees that are, on the surface, similar to those you already have. However, by doing this, employers can be ruling out people with the right attributes for roles. As well as this ‘conscious’ bias, unconscious bias can also be problematic. Unconscious bias is a learned stereotype that is automatic and unintentional, significantly affecting your behaviour and decisions.

To tackle this, unbiased recruitment is essential. Employers could consider reviewing applications ‘blind’ for example. So as not to be influenced by a person’s name, age, gender, or where they live. This allows employers to see the potential in people, without any judgement. It makes recruitment fair, and potentially widens the talent pool.

In turn, with a more diverse workplace, cultural competence improves across the business. And with a better understanding of others, bias is reduced. Team members will feel empowered to speak up about bias, and it will be clear when potential bias is a problem so that is can be addressed. The result? A more inclusive, happy team.

For further support and advice, including details of conferences that focus on talent attraction and employee engagement, sign up to the Talent in Logistics mailing list.

We support the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge

The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge is an event that Talent in Logistics supports, because it shines a light on EDI. It is a fun team building event, but at its core, has been developed to show how people in our industry work better and excel when they are in diverse teams.

Entering a team in the event is a great way to demonstrate your business’s commitment to EDI, both to your existing team and potential new recruits. Get involved with the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2023 here.

Transport Labour Market & Skills – Call for Views and Ideas

Transport Labour Market & Skills – Call for Views and Ideas

In a bid to ‘super-charge’ the transport sector’s skills and build a workforce for the future, Talent in Logistics have worked with representative groups to gather views and ideas on the most significant labour market and skills challenges across the sector.

Gathering views from the transport sector

On 22nd March 2022 more than 100 delegates from warehousing, transport and logistics businesses, and training organisations, from across the UK met at the Talent in Logistics Conference. It is an event where Instructors, Trainers and Operations professionals join sector leaders for insight into training changes and real-world challenges faced by the warehousing, transport and logistics sector.

On the day, one of the sessions was devoted to answering questions on the recently launched “Transport and Labour Market & Skills” consultation. It was an interactive and collaborative session designed to get views from all the delegates representing large and small firms up and down the UK.

Talent in Logistics has drafted a formal response for the Government on behalf of the conference delegates.

Talent in Logistics Conference – Delegate Views and Ideas

  1. In your view, what skills does the transport sector need in the future?

While it is a given that drivers need to learn to operate the relevant class of vehicle(s), there may be opportunities to upskill so that they can provide a better, or wider service. Furthermore, it should be noted that drivers need very different skills sets to the Trainers or Operations staff.

People and customer service skills are essential across the transport sector, and it is clear that IT and digital skills would be increasingly important in the future. The ability to adapt to new technologies is therefore important including the ability to operate alternative fuelled vehicles (AFVs).

From a recruitment perspective, it is suggested that HR teams in the sector need to improve their marketing skills to attract new talent and help collectively change the perception of the sector. There is also an ageing workforce requiring skills that may assist older drivers and for those that move on to mentor and coach rising stars, they need the skills and knowledge to do this effectively.

Direct suggestions from the sector when posed this question include:

  • Computer / IT skills (for both drivers and trainers)
  • Digital skills
  • Functional skills in information and communication technologies (ICT)
  • Marketing careers in schools/colleges
  • Adaptability to ever changing technology
  • Skills to operate more vehicle power types, including Alternative Fuelled Vehicles (AFVs)
  • Maintenance / repair skills
  • Overall improvement in skills / continuous improvement
  • Skills to operate new technologies
  • Experience, understanding technology, understanding environment/alternative fuel, marketing/PR skills, communication, structure e.g. training, legislation
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Marketing skills to attract talent
  • People skills / Soft skills / Customer service skills
  • Skills to use planning tools
  • Skills that help an ageing workforce
  • Maths skills
  • Skills to help with flexibility
  • Management of people
  • Advocacy skills
  • Skills for mentoring / becoming a role model / coaching
  • Internal communications skills for Interdepartmental understanding
  1. How, in your view, can current qualification and training routes be made more accessible for those who want to pursue a career in the transport sector?

A key factor in making the training more accessible is cost and affordability for the target market. Availability of more blended learning options nationwide would help alongside more funding (and easier access to it) for vocational training, and funded routes for young people which work without employment (apprenticeships/traineeships for example require an employer), such as through schools and colleges (GCSE/A-Level/T-Level Logistics).

It is important that the sector becomes more attractive as a whole. Open days may help to spread the message, as well as Government backed advertising and promotions in relevant media channels and on social media. Plus, promoting the sector, and challenging negative preconceptions about it, in schools and colleges.

Other suggestions include offering “student loans” for young people to use to learn to be a professional driver, or providing incentives for young people. Retraining and developing the homeless community, ex-prisoners, and other minorities can be achieved through programmes designed specifically for these groups.

Quotes from our sector delegates include:

  • Affordability according to the realistic salaries offered in the job market
  • Encourage blended learning to incorporate a modern approach
  • Funding for vocational training (equivalent to the University route)
  • Routes which don’t require employer backing
  • Open days
  • Training / apprenticeship levy – encourage, promote understanding and actively assist
  • Advertising / Promotions in relevant media / channels / social media
  • Academies
  • Improved Apprenticeships
  • Publicised in schools/colleges that there are sector recognised national training qualifications
  • Improve funding,
  • Review restrictions e.g. insurance, licences
  • More Government funding
  • Loans to drivers
  • Incentives at a young age
  • Retraining and development of homeless
  • Prison services
  • Make the sector more attractive for people who are not attracted to it
  • Cut the “red tape”
  • Raise the profile of the sector in general
  • Level up logistics careers
  • Bring education closer to sector
  • Make more driving tests available
  1. What, in your view, are effective ways to attract young people and career changers into a career in the transport sector?

It is important for young people and career changers to clearly see the career routes and progression, so they can see that there are good prospects and rewards.

Competitive pay, rewards, and work-life balance are important, alongside visibility of good working conditions. Seeing a day in the life of a driver or person in the transport sector may make it look much more appealing. Good facilities onsite and on the road would also help improve the perception of the working day.

Changing the perception that “being a lorry driver is a last resort” is crucial alongside promoting equal opportunities. Work experience opportunities help, but creating a better focus in the school curriculum and optimising apprenticeships will help further.

Roadshows, open days, and career fairs may also have an important part to play. In addition, logistics and supply chain coverage in the national curriculum would aid understanding and appreciation of the crucial role of the sector.

Ideas from the sector include:

  • Visibility of career routes / progression
  • Work experience
  • Schools curriculum optimise apprenticeships – educational improvements
  • Entry level barriers
  • Day in the life of (DILO) work experience weeks
  • Insurance has barriers
  • Change perception – Image change away from “I ended up as a lorry driver”
  • Great working conditions
  • Good facilities
  • Infrastructure
  • Competitive pay
  • Good prospects
  • Rewards
  • Open days designed to attract young people
  • Warehouse to wheels – hunt for talent in the warehouse
  • Better truck stops
  • Roadshows / career fairs
  • Review expectation of Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT)
  • Equal opportunities
  • Attract Ex-emergency services and MOD
  • Engage with leavers who are already skilled
  • Introduce into schools
  • Reduce working hours
  • Promote and focus on work life balance
  • Aim at students, advertise for customers in stores
  • Apprenticeships
  • Awareness
  • Make it exciting and attractive to be part of the sector
  • Create an easier path
  • Bring education closer to sector
  • Promote diversity
  • More clear career progression and development path
  1. What, in your view, are the barriers to further increasing diversity, inclusion and social mobility in the transport sector?

Stereotyping, unconscious bias, and the culture in some companies is a key factor preventing diversity. With this in mind, it could be difficult to introduce new and young LGV/HGV drivers, minorities, and groups such as ex-prisoners or the homeless into careers in transport and logistics. For employers, now is a time to re-think recruitment strategies and longer term initiatives.

Poor facilities in businesses and on the roadside may also prevent some groups joining the sector. Especially when considered alongside perceived low pay, tough working hours, and poor work-life balance. There is a lack of knowledge and understanding of the sector which may also give the perception that there is no career progression.

There also seems to be a lack of proactive management across the sector from those with diverse backgrounds. Also, generally a lack of role models who would help encourage more diversity. For the younger generation, there are very few social media influencers in transport sector, so it rarely registers as a career opportunity for them.

Some suggested barriers within the sector include:

  • Sexual discrimination
  • Transport/logistics is not introduced / promoted at secondary school level
  • Stereotyping in companies
  • Difficult to employ new / young LGV drivers (insurance issues)
  • Lack of finance to assist with licence acquisition
  • Poor facilities
  • Costs of entry
  • Demographic issues (male/female balance, the ageing workforce)
  • Low pay
  • Lack of knowledge / understanding of the sector
  • Perception of (lack of) career progression
  • Lack of upskilling opportunties– not available or not selected for
  • Unconscious bias
  • Lack of proactive management with diverse backgrounds
  • Poor work-life balance
  • Very few/no social media influencers in transport sector
  • Lack of flexibility
  • Lack of flexible working
  • Poor safety
  • Company cultures needs to change
  • Few role models
  • Lack of accessibility
  • Geographic issues
  • Public transport network
  • Historical preconception
  • Expectation of women raising children
  1. How, in your view, can barriers to diversity, inclusion and social mobility in the transport sector be reduced?

More training across the sector will help to mitigate against unconscious bias in the workplace. Without making the transport sector a comfortable place to work for everyone, staff retention will be low and it will be hard to recruit.

At the same time, raising specific awareness among diverse/minority groups will help drive interest in a career in the transport sector.

Targeting each group with messages that mean something to them will help make career opportunities more attractive and welcoming. Open conversations and engagement with each group will further improve the effectiveness of any communications alongside case studies to show “people like me” making a success.

More engagement with schools and youth groups will help break some of the barriers and building respect for people working in the sector generally will help change perception and attitudes.

Better health and hygiene in companies and at truck stops may also assist in reducing anxiety for staff. While incentives, good pay and rewards will make the job attractive, it may only mask some of the underlying issues described above.

Ideas from the sector about reducing barriers to diversity include:

  • Better health and hygiene in companies and truck stops
  • Opportunities at graduate level/many years of experience – introductions should be offered for all levels
  • More engagement with schools/youth groups
  • Investing in people
  • Build respect for what we do!
  • Consultation / engage with government
  • Get schools / education bodies involved
  • Training within sector to mitigate against unconscious bias
  • Proactive engagement with diverse backgrounds
  • Challenge public opinion, raise profile of sector to opinions
  • Reduce red tape
  • Open conversations
  • Feedback from operators/warehouse operatives
  • Case studies – to show “people like me” making a success
  • Incentives

About Talent in Logistics

Since 2017, not-for-profit organisation Talent in Logistics has been building a community of industry experts, sector leaders, employers of all sizes and training providers who share a common interest in helping the multi-modal logistics sector overcome people and skills challenges.

Talent in Logistics hosts a range of events (physical and virtual) to connect the multi-modal logistics community. Through conferences, webinars, and its annual Awards event,  Talent in Logistics provides a forum for learning and sharing actionable insights.

With its unique and total focus on people in multimodal logistics, Talent in Logistics is dedicated to providing high quality, accessible resources for the industry. This includes podcasts, research, white papers, publications and podcasts, alongside a free Jobs Board and ‘Learning Through Logistics’ resources to help encourage future generations of talent.

Management must change to secure next generation of lift truck operators, Talent in Logistics research shows

Management must change to secure next generation of lift truck operators, Talent in Logistics research shows

A recent survey by Talent in Logistics, sponsored by UKMHA (UK Material Handling Association), found that more than half (51%) of male lift truck operators aged 30 and over do not find their management to be trustworthy and honest.  52% would also not recommend their job to family and friends.

These insights, and others, are revealed in a new report titled “What lift truck operators really think of their job”.  The research report also reveals that 47% of the 30-plus male demographic surveyed don’t agree that they are recognised for the job they do and just 42% feel that their opinion matters when a company is looking to change things.

“We are in the midst of a national warehousing skills shortage, so employers must take action now to retain skilled lift truck operators,” says Laura Nelson, Managing Director for Talent in Logistics. “It is clear that some changes are needed at management level to improve communications, build trust, and make operators feel valued.”

“Lift truck operators are an ageing, and predominantly male, workforce – 48% of those taking our survey were aged 51 or over. So, as well as fixing these inherent issues, recruiting new talent is key,” she continues.

Female operators (60%) and employees aged 18-21 (100%) said they’d rather have a good manager than a 5% pay-rise, highlighting the importance of management on employee satisfaction and engagement.

“Positively, our research showed that these younger workers and female operators are incredibly loyal – 88% of the female operators and 100% of the 18–21-year-olds said they could see themselves working for the same company in two years.” says Laura. “Their responses in the survey provide a good insight into what employers need to do in order to attract more people from these groups into the workforce.”

Young people are particularly interested in career development, with 94% of respondents aged 18-30 saying they want to progress in their career.

Work/life balance is also a high priority for young people, with 100% of the 18–21-year-olds saying they would prefer a better work/life balance than a 5% pay rise, and 65% of 18-30 year olds saying the same.

Some of the factors contributing to job satisfaction for younger employees include flexible working options, feeling heard and respected, and having the training they need to do their job effectively.  Wellbeing is another important area and, encouragingly, 86% of female operators said they feel the company cares about their mental wellbeing. The same percentage (86%) of female operators also said they find their company leaders easy to talk to.

The report also includes suggestions from lift truck operators as to how to attract workers into the profession, including the question of pay. The survey found that more than 50% of all lift truck operators surveyed agreed that they are not well paid for the job they do. All groups put equal or more importance on a 5% pay rise than on a comprehensive healthcare package.

Tim Waples, Chief Executive of UKMHA, who sponsored the survey and report added: “This report highlights some real issues within our industry that must be addressed. Lift truck operators play a vital role in the supply chain and logistics and, to ensure the welfare and retention of staff, employers must do more to ensure the safety of operators (and bystanders), whilst looking at what reward and recognition they have in place to ensure these experienced people feel valued in the vital role that they fulfil.”

Laura from Talent in Logistics adds: “Much of the news about skills and labour shortages has been focused on LGV drivers but it should not be forgotten that a shortage also exists in lift truck operator and warehouse roles. I urge employers to read the report to gain valuable insights on how to better retain operators, and create a talent pipeline for the future.”

To download the report ‘What do lift truck operators really think of their job?’, click here.

For more information, call the team on 01952 520216 or email

Why Attend Industry CPD Events?

Talent in Logistics Develop Conference 2020

Instructors and trainers working in the logistics industry have a lot on their plates. Keeping up with the pace of change takes work. New developments are happening all the time; not only changes to legislation such as those brought about by Brexit, but also advances in eLearning, plus a new emphasis on remote learning due to Covid and climate change, the list goes on. Instructors and trainers need affordable CPD (Continuous Professional Development) that will improve their skills and reduce knowledge gaps.

It might feel like losing a member of your training team for a whole day is too costly, but nothing could be further from the truth. Your team need development to be efficient and to keep your business compliant and competitive. Here are three reasons your instructors and trainers should attend the Talent in Logistics’ ‘Develop’ Conference on 22nd March 2022.

Retain your team

Good instructors and trainers are hard to find. Your instructors and trainers want to feel that they have a future with your company; nothing says that more clearly than investing in their skills.

Another important reason for developing your team is the effect it has on morale. Regularly attending CPD events will help that your team feel valued.

Studies have shown that engaged employees are not only more likely to stay, they’re also healthier, happier and more efficient.

Keep your business compliant

All skills fade, and instructors know this better than anyone. After all, keeping skills fresh across the industry is their bread and butter!  Professional CPD events are an opportunity for instructors and trainers to keep up to date with best practice.

Industry legislation is fast changing due to Brexit, net zero targets, the skills shortage and more. To keep compliant, you need your instructors to have all the very latest information.

Networking Is a Great Way to Grow your Business

Instructors and trainers attending Talent in Logistics’ ‘Develop’ Conference will be engaging with industry experts and peers from across the country. That’s a lot of potential business under one roof!

Attend the ‘Develop’ Conference on 22nd March 2022

Don’t let your instructors and trainers get left behind. Click here to book your tickets now for just £75+VAT, or for more information, contact the team on or visit

What LGV and HGV Drivers Really Think About Benefits

Talent in Logistics has followed up its 2020 ‘Driving Engagement in Logistics’ whitepaper with fresh research conducted in partnership with the RTITB Driver CPC Consortium and iintegra-T. The latest report addresses the driver shortage and retention crisis by asking LGV/HGV drivers what they think about the benefits and incentives employers use to attract and retain drivers. The results will surprise you.

Faulty Logic

It is no secret that the UK is facing a wellbeing crisis. The cost of ill-health and stress are mounting all the time. But solutions to this problem don’t always hit the mark.

A 2018 study found pressure to ‘attend work at all costs’ was driving presenteeism, with employees coming to work while unwell instead of recuperating. Rather than improving productivity, the negative effects of cutting back on sick leave actually cost the economy billions.

Sick employees are less focused and productive. They are more susceptible to mental and physical strain, so they stay sick longer and are more likely to get worse.

For logistics firms, this means more mistakes, inefficiency, cost, even expensive damage to fleets. For LGV and HGV drivers, protracted ill-health can lead to stress, burnout, or more serious medical conditions which threaten their living.

At worst, loss of focus on the road can even mean loss of life.

What Does This Have to Do with Benefits?

More than you might think. Wellbeing and engagement are two sides of the same coin, with research linking both to retention and performance.

Common wellness programs often apply a sticking plaster where a splint is needed. Only 15.5% of respondents to Talent in Logistics’ survey said a wellness program would attract them to a role. 27.9% said a gym membership would not attract them at all, while only 10% said it would. LGV and HGV drivers have given such solutions a vote of no confidence.

What Drivers Do Want

The physical, mental, and financial stress of the recent global pandemic has exacerbated the issues identified in 2018. In Talent in Logistics’ research report, the top three most attractive benefits were income protection insurance (88.4%), critical illness cover (83.2%), and extra holiday for years of service (72.6%).

A connection can be made here to overtime, which came up a lot in our conversations with drivers. ‘It seems that all driver roles expect you to work 50 hours a week, as opposed to 37.5 like the rest of the country,’ was one of many such observations.

Industrywide, many LGV and HGV drivers feel under pressure to routinely push themselves beyond their contracted hours. More faulty logic. And it may be affecting their health.

We have seen many logistics employers recently offer a variety of incentives to their workforce of LGV and HGV drivers, for example:

  • AO offer a dedicated wellness initiate that supports wellbeing, including a 24 hour employee assistance programme.
  • Aldi offers a wellbeing programme where they have access to an online wellness portal, as well as an employee assistant programme and wellbeing related benefits.
  • Gist offers to cover the costs of training to new drivers, as well as ‘discounts and a generous pension’.
  • XPO offers merit increases, performance rewards and an accelerated path to reach top pay rates.
  • Eddie Stobart offers additional leave after years of service and death in service scheme.

When overtime goes unrecognised and underpaid, it certainly impacts their engagement. Despite being identified as keyworkers during the pandemic, many drivers still don’t feel respected in their roles.

Incentive packages that ignore what drivers want don’t help. Once again, a common solution to the respect issue was highly unpopular with our drivers. Public recognition by management was one of the lowest scoring incentives in the survey.

What the drivers really wanted was more empathy. Many respondents to Talent in Logistics’ study felt strongly that managers and traffic planners did not understand the challenges drivers face on the job.

Taking the time to ride out with the drivers might be one way to tackle this issue. Experiencing the realities of life on the road can offer real insight into driver performance. This helps leaders to set realistic expectations. Shared first-hand experience can also help build trust and improve communication.


The benefits that affect wellbeing and engagement the most are the ones which reduce the big stressors in drivers’ lives. Drivers want fair pay for hard work; financial and health security; and time enough to rest, recuperate when sick, and simply live their lives.

Fortunately, iintegra-T offers a range of insurance solutions which can target the problem effectively.

Income protection insurance shows drivers you’ve got their backs. Life insurance protects their loved ones. And private medical insurance helps safeguard their health. It all adds up to a benefits package that will make drivers feel valued.

More than anything, drivers need to feel their concerns are being listened to. To find out more, contact the iintegra-T team at