PM Promises Apprenticeship Boost

Boris Johnson has backed proposals for an ‘apprenticeship guarantee’ aimed at ensuring young people have access to vocational training. The prime minister’s comments come amid urgent calls for the government to tackle unemployment in the wake of COVID-19.

logistics apprenticeships boostJohnson gave support for the proposals in a letter to the chair of the Commons Liaison Committee, stating, ‘Apprenticeships will play a vital role in the economic recovery, ensuring that employers and people of all backgrounds develop the skills they need to succeed.’ The letter went on to make a commitment to supporting small businesses that want to take apprentices this year.

The idea was originally suggested by chair of the education select committee, Robert Halfon. According to Halfon, such a guarantee could ‘close the skills divide and help those from disadvantaged backgrounds’. The guarantee would be backed using funds raised through the apprenticeship levy introduced in 2017, used in a ‘very strategic way’.

The levy was cause for controversy earlier this year when Education Secretary Gavin Williamson criticised employers for misusing levy funds. Williamson’s comments came amid allegations funds were being used to subsidise higher education courses for senior management, and that the scheme had given rise to ‘fake apprenticeships’ designed to tap funding.

Mr. Halfon said that the levy should be ‘used primarily on apprenticeships to 16 to 24-year-olds and to tackle disadvantage.’

With youth unemployment doubling in recent months, according to the ONS, the need to ensure the younger generation are targeted in any government response to reopening the economy has been underscored by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, AELP.

According to Mark Dawe, AELP chief executive, ‘The government needs to roll out its response urgently. The majority of need can be met through existing employment and skills programmes, but it requires the right level of funding and the funding getting to the most appropriate providers around the country.’

‘AELP has called for a £8.6bn skills package split between young people and adults including a wage subsidy to encourage employers to make more apprenticeship opportunities available for young people aged 16 to 24.’

Dawe stressed that failure to implement such measures ‘would still be a significant cost to the Treasury and the economy with mass youth unemployment.’

Speaking to the TES, Mr. Halfon stressed that alongside financial subsidy, there is a need for other forms of support. ‘Businesses are very wary about taking on apprentices because of the bureaucracy involved. The Australian system, for example, does all of that for the businesses and that reduces the bureaucracy. That would be a very good model for consideration. You create financial incentives, but also a bureaucratic incentive.’

Moves to bolster apprenticeships come at a significant moment for the UK logistics industry, with a deepening driver drought and increased pressure on the network due to COVID-19. Apprenticeships have for some time been promoted as a means to alleviate the drought, although this depends on apprenticeship levy funds being used proactively, and for the appropriate purpose.

MD of Moody Logistics, Caroline Moody, recently named as a finalist in the 2020 Amazon everywoman in Transport & Logistics Awards, had this to say regarding the apprenticeship levy in 2019: ‘The scheme allows haulage companies to provide an apprentice with much greater insight into the logistics industry as they work within the business whilst being trained in the core driving skills.’

References and useful links:

https://feweek.co.uk/2020/06/30/pm-promises-every-young-person-the-chance-of-an-apprenticeship-or-an-in-work-placement/

https://www.tes.com/news/Covid-19-pm-we-will-support-small-businesses-apprentices

https://www.aelp.org.uk/news/news/news-articles/aelp-responds-to-the-latest-increase-in-unemployment/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-53238362

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-51650984https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/1641/documents/15661/default/

https://www.tes.com/news/halfon-schools-should-be-given-apprenticeship-targets

https://www.businessupnorth.co.uk/moody-logistics-calls-for-increase-in-driver-apprenticeships-as-part-of-love-the-lorry-week/

https://bdaily.co.uk/articles/2020/06/25/caroline-moody-named-as-finalist-in-everywoman-transport-logistics-awards

Extra time to enter the Talent in Logistics Awards 2020

Talent in Logistics Awards 2020

The past few months have been really challenging for many, but every day we’re blown away by the amazing efforts we see from the logistics sector and the encouraging positive stories we encounter in our #ilovelogistics campaign on social media.  That’s one of the reasons why we have decided to extend the deadline to enter the Talent in Logistics Awards until 24th July 2020.

Talent in Logistics Awards 2020 Goes Online!

Our awards for the logistics industry and the standout people and teams working hard across the supply chain will not be cancelled this year, despite the current unusual and ever- changing circumstances. However, they will be more unique than ever!

The 2020 Talent in Logistics Awards will take place completely online as a live streamed, virtual event on YouTube and social media, meaning that absolutely anyone can watch the awards and share in the celebration of the incredible people within our sector.

Enter the Talent in Logistics Awards

If you’ve already entered the Talent in Logistics Awards this year, your entry still stands and is in the running to win an award. You just might be delivering a virtual acceptance speech if you win, instead of going up on the stage!

However, if you haven’t got round to writing your entry yet, the good news is that you now have more time to do so.  The entry deadline has been extended until 24th July 2020, so enter now!

Why should you enter the Talent in Logistics Awards?

With the logistics sector going above and beyond at the moment, we know there are even more amazing examples of dedication, commitment, and achievement than usual across the supply chain. Make sure you recognise and celebrate this by entering your standout individuals, teams and programmes for a Talent in Logistics Award.

Our Awards are a great way to show the talented people in your organisation exactly how valued they are, which can help improve motivation, engagement, and loyalty.  Receiving a Talent in Logistics Award is also a great way to showcase the great work your organisation does and how much it values its people, providing positive PR for your business. Plus, it’s a fantastic way to demonstrate why it’s a great place to work, supporting your efforts to recruit the best talent.

How to enter the Talent in Logistics Awards 

Entering the awards is straightforward. Simply download a form from our website for your chosen awards category, complete the essential details and add your written entry of up to 1000 words and your choice of up to three supporting documents.

Categories include:

• Innovation in Recruitment

• Collaboration in People Development

• Innovative Training Programme

• Training Provider of the Year

• Health Safety & Wellbeing Initiative

• Best Place to Work

• Industry Ambassador for the Year

• Inspirational Leader of the Year

• Excellence in Coaching and Mentoring

• Instructor of the Year

• Rising Star of the Year

Find out more about all of the awards categories.

Need help with your entry?

Writing award entries may not be a usual part of your day job, but please don’t let that stop you! It may take a little time and effort, but the rewards are well worth it. Also, to support you creating your award entry, we have developed our free downloadable Handy Awards Guide to give you extra guidance and lots of helpful tips.

What’s more, on 24th June 2020, you’re invited to attend a free webinar with our very own Ruth Edwards asking ‘What does a good awards entry look like?’. The webinar will give you practical guidance with our top 10 tips for writing an award entry as well as compelling reasons why you should enter. It’s a great chance to ask questions too.

Don’t miss out. Register for the free webinar now.

Five Reasons to Host a Webinar

Reasons to host a webinar

More and more businesses are hosting webinars, especially in these strange times when face-to-face meetings aren’t a possibility. But why should you consider hosting webinars and how can they help you?

Webinars have a range of uses. They can act as a virtual conference, a networking opportunity, a place for training or demonstrations, or as a way to easily share any kind of information or ideas with others in your sector. They aren’t limited by location – being online, participants can join from anywhere – and as they take place live, they offer the benefits of real-time questions and answers in a way that video doesn’t.

When done correctly, a webinar can be one of your most valuable assets.

Here’s five reasons to host a webinar:

1. Position yourself as an industry leader

Whatever the subject, webinars allow you to be an authoritative voice in your sector. Whilst presenting your experience and knowledge to your audience, you are showcasing yourself as an expert within your field. This is great for building your business’ brand, but also for your own professional reputation.

What’s more, anyone who can’t attend a live session will be able to watch a recording at a later date, allowing your expertise to be spread to a much larger network than any face-to-face meeting would allow. Viewers will remember you as an industry leader and be more likely to come back to you for advice and answers in the future.

Remember that webinar attendees will have already set aside their valuable time to hear what you have to say – a webinar creates a rare platform for you to show what you can do for your industry (and how you can help!).

2. Network, network, network!

Webinars provide a great opportunity to reconnect with previous contacts, as well as gain new valuable leads.

To join or view a webinar, attendees will have to register with various details. You may prefer to just collect contact details, or you could ask for more details on their role, their challenges or their business. Either way, this information allows you to engage with your audience in the future and build a vast and valuable network. It can also capture reliable and relevant data that your sales and marketing team may be able to benefit from.

3. Understand customers’ challenges (and provide a solution)

How often do you get the chance to have one-on-one conversations with key voices within your industry? When time is at a premium, this isn’t always possible.

Webinars are a great way to discuss challenges, opportunities and collaboration within your sector. With the chance to talk to customers about the real everyday issues that they’re facing, you can find ways to provide the solution. These conversations will also help customers feel that you’ve listened.

4. Build brand awareness

A webinar provides you with a convenient way to reach a national (or international) audience from the comfort of your own desk. Whether you’re hosting a 30-minute or 3-hour session, you can gain qualified leads while quickly building brand awareness within your industry.

A webinar is one of the most cost-effective ways to show what your brand stands for and to promote what you do. News of your webinars can also be easily shared on your social media channels, extending the promotional opportunity even further (and giving you some great social media content!)

5. Easily generate content for your website

It takes time to produce useful content for a webinar, so why leave it there? You can record your webinar and host it on your website for people to view at a later date. Why not send an email to your contacts inviting them to watch it? Adding this to your website also provides you with some excellent evergreen content that will continue to bring organic views for years to come.

Also, be sure to make the most out of your hard work. Could you turn the contents into a blog, a press release or a whitepaper? A webinar is a helpful resource that can (and should) be multi-purpose and gives you different ways to reinforce the messages from your sessions in different channels.

Attend our webinar | How To Attract & Retain Talent Through Employee Engagement

We practice what we preach! As webinars are so important, especially at this time, we are hosting a free webinar on 27th May 2020 at 11am, about all things employee engagement.

Ruth Edwards, Business Development Director at Talent in Logistics will explain not only how this can help you retain the brilliant talent you already have, but also how placing your focus on this area of your business can help you to attract new talent.

She will even share some insight on what the younger generation thinks is important from an employer when it comes to engagement, which given the ageing workforce within logistics, is a vital consideration.

Interested in hosting a webinar?

If you’re trying to find a new way to reach out to your existing or potential customers, sponsoring a Talent in Logistics webinar may be the perfect fit for you and your company. By getting involved with our webinars, not only will you raise brand awareness but you’ll also receive a high-quality list of brand new leads too.

Contact our team to find out more about sponsoring a webinar on +44 (0) 1952 520216 or email talentinlogistics@capitb.co.uk .

Talent in Logistics Announces Totally Online Awards Night for 2020

Laptop showcasing Awards Night

The Talent in Logistics Awards 2020 will now take place as a completely virtual live event on Thursday 1st October 2020, confirms the organiser as it also extends the entry deadline for the awards.

The Talent in Logistics Awards this year will be a unique, online event that will be live streamed on YouTube and social media channels, instead of being held in Manchester as originally planned.

“The past few months have presented unusual circumstances, but there is no way that we wanted to cancel or postpone this year’s Awards, especially when we have had such a high standard of entries so far,” says Ruth Edwards, Business Development Director for Talent in Logistics. 

“This year, those in the logistics sector have been crucial, and deserve even greater praise and recognition than ever for their efforts,” she continues. “We’re thrilled to be able to do this in a new and different way, that will also help keep everyone safe.”

The livestream of the Talent in Logistics Awards 2020 will be free for anyone to watch and reveal winners live during the online awards ceremony.  There will be interactive elements, and winners will have the opportunity to virtually accept their awards.  The event will also dedicate time to showcasing and celebrating hard work across the supply chain this year and will share positive stories from within the sector, including those inspired by the Talent in Logistics #ilovelogistics social media campaign.

To enable as many people as possible to get involved and celebrate the sector’s achievements this year, the entry deadline for the Talent in Logistics Awards has also been extended until 24th July 2020.  

The awards remain free to enter, and entry forms can be downloaded from the Talent in Logistics website.  Award entries consist of a submission of up to 1000 words, along with the option to attach three supporting documents, and will be judged by a panel of sector experts, leaders, and influencers. The shortlist will be announced by early August 2020.

Information regarding the LGV Driver of the Year and Forklift Operator of the Year live competitions and awards will be announced in due course.

“Talent in Logistics is no stranger to being unique – ours are the first and only awards that are 100% dedicated to recognising standout people in our industry,” says Ruth. “We want to bring positivity and pride to the whole logistics sector after a challenging year, so we’re delighted that our online Awards will make it possible for anyone, anywhere to be part of the event.”

For more information on entering the awards or sponsoring an Awards category, visit www.talentinlogistics.co.uk,  call 01952 520216 or email talentinlogistics@captib.co.uk . 

Help at hand for home schooling logistics professionals

Four leading organisations from the UK supply chain sector – Business on the Move, Career Ready Think Logistics, NOVUS and Talent in Logistics – have collaborated to launch #LearningThroughLogistics, a collection of home-schooling resources.

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing schools to shut down, parents and carers have had to take on the teaching role; #LearningThroughLogistics is likely to prove particularly popular with anyone working in the logistics sector who is looking for new ways to support their children’s education.

The collection, hosted by Talent in Logistics, is designed to highlight the vital role logistics plays in society and the wider economy while at the same time providing education in key subjects such as numeracy, English and science. The resources available appeal to primary and secondary school pupils and can be downloaded free of charge, with no registration required, from www.talentinlogistics.co.uk/learning-through-logistics.

Ruth Edwards, of Talent in Logistics, says: “We invite all organisations that operate in the sector to be part of #LearningThroughLogistics. We hope that, by creating a space that parents and teachers can easily access and use, we will spark an interest in our sector and children will be open to exploring the variety of opportunities available to them.”

As well as being educational, the activities are fun and typically test a child’s logic and problem solving skills. For example, one of the 16 resources contributed by Business on the Move that is aimed at the younger age group is called ‘Plan Your Route’ and requires map-reading skills to work out the most efficient ways to make deliveries. This activity has links to core curriculum subjects such as maths and geography. Meanwhile, a Career Ready Think Logistics activity for the 14+ age group, called ‘Think Maths in Logistics’, challenges students with a series of calculations that must be completed to work out the cost of running a truck and requires competency in mathematics and business studies.

Bethany Fovargue, of NOVUS, says: “We believe that, by inspiring the next generation of supply chain professionals, we will be ready not only for business-as-usual, but also for future demands and challenges like the current pandemic. We need to work together as a profession to encourage young people to see logistics as a career of choice and #LearningThroughLogistics is one way in which parents can encourage their children to follow in their footsteps.

The #LearningThroughLogistics resources form part of the industry-wide #ILoveLogistics campaign, which was launched by Talent in Logistics to help the public understand the role that logistics plays and get school-age children excited about the sector. If you are a business that would like to share resources, or a parent/carer that would like to share photos or completed work, please get in touch using #LearningThroughLogistics on social media or via the website. 

5 ways to embrace a culture of diversity and inclusion in the logistics workplace

A recent skills shortage report from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) found that the logistics sector continues to be dominated by people who describe themselves as ethnically white (91%), along with male workers representing 86% of the logistics vocations workforce.

The demand for talent in the supply chain has never been so high, whereas today’s youth feel that logistics isn’t an attractive career option. At Talent in Logistics, we’ve previously spoken about the importance of recruitment from underrepresented groups due to the skills shortage our sector is currently facing.

If you’re an employer in the logistics sector who has taken steps towards implementing a new culture within the workplace, how can you go about embracing a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion? And why is it important?

Here’s five ways to help implement a culture of equality, diversity and inclusion in your operation:

1. Increase disability confidence

Did you know that over 8 million people of working age in the UK have a disability? Only about 50% of disabled people in the UK are in work, compared to 80% of non-disabled people of working age.

This means that there are potentially more than 4 million people currently looking for the opportunity to work, whilst employers are missing out this talent pool.

Whether this comes down to uncertainties about ability or day-to-day logistics, the government has backed an employer campaign called Disability Confident which offers guidance and resources to employers on how employing those with disabilities or health conditions can help your business.

Over 17,000 organisations have already signed up to the scheme, which encourages a change in attitudes, behaviour and cultures throughout businesses, networks and communities alike. The scheme enables employers to draw from the widest possible pool of talent, along with secure high-quality, loyal and hardworking staff.

This will not only show other employees in the workplace that as a business, you treat all employees fairly but also improve morale, employee engagement and commitment.

2. Embrace advantages of neurodiversity

Neurodiversity is a relatively new term that many people may not yet know much about. However, by learning more about neurodiversity (and taking steps to better support it), both employers and employees in the workplace will benefit hugely.

It’s only natural that people think about things differently. We all have different interests and motivations, and what one person might excel at, another might struggle with.

Most people are neurotypical, which means that their brain functions and processes information in the way society expects it to. However, around 15% of the UK population is estimated to be neurodivergent. This means that their brain functions, learns and processes information differently. This includes the likes of Attention Deficit Disorders (ADHD), Autism, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia.

Far from being a hindrance in your workforce, 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. That’s why it’s essential for workplaces to embrace a culture of EDI by making accommodations and being flexible.

Simple considerations such as how to communicate with your employees, as well as ensuring that managers are properly trained to support them, will ensure that staff feel safe and looked after. It will also lead to a higher level of staff retention, along with reduced recruitment costs.

3. Help staff to be themselves

A recent report by LGBT campaigning charity Stonewall found that many workers in the UK continue to feel discriminated against for their sexuality or gender identity, with some having been the target of negative comments or worse still, physical violence.

35% of LGBT staff have hidden or disguised that they are LGBT within the workplace, and many said they would not feel confident reporting homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying to their employer. It’s vital that managers are approachable and available to hear any concerns that employees might have.

That’s why it’s crucial for employers to create a culture that not only breeds respect, but one that doesn’t tolerate certain language and behaviours. Remember, everyone is unique. That should be embraced!

Consider ways to allow people to be themselves in the workplace, such as enabling non-binary or trans people to wear work attire that reflects their gender expression.

4. Reducing the gender gap in logistics

We’re fortunate in the UK that there is not such the societal gender gap that is present in various other countries – in theory, women have access to any role and can be whoever they wish to be.

However, the previously mentioned FTA Skills Shortage Report showed that women are underrepresented in the logistics sector. Did you know that less than a quarter of employees in this industry are female?

“Only 36% of logistics companies which previously made a submission to the government on the gender pay gap have done this year, so there’s little point in looking at the fine detail and making year on year comparisons”, says Kirsten Tisdale, Logistics Consultant and Director at Aricia Ltd who has conducted extensive research into women in logistics for organisations including the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT UK).

“However, I’ve become more and more convinced that the area logistics needs to focus on is increasing the proportion of female leaders. We are a low margin sector and have low numbers of female executives – is it possible that the two go together?” she adds. Read more of Kirsten’s thoughts here in the update posted on 6 April.

As it currently stands in some organisations, logistics can seem like an ‘all boys club’, which can be quite intimidating. This can be easily avoided by creating a culture made up with both male and female leadership, where positive role models of both genders can influence the company culture. Also, by ensuring that there is no gender pay gap, more women would be encouraged into roles in logistics.

5. Eliminate unconscious bias

We all occasionally have the tendency to be bias in favour of a specific situation or person, but employers need to be aware of unconscious bias at all times and how it can affect how you interact with, and set examples for, the rest of your team. An unconscious bias is a learned stereotype that is automatic and unintentional, significantly affecting your behaviour and decisions.

By being unconsciously biased in the recruitment process, employers are missing out on a large proportion of talent. Unbiased recruitment is essential as it allows employers to see the potential in people, without any judgement. As an employer, you should always strive to create an inclusive and fair experience for potential employees. You can read more about this in our recent article here.

Increasing diversity in the workplace has the benefit that it can help improve cultural competence and lead to a better understanding of others, reducing bias.

You should not only encourage team members to speak up about bias, but also hold employees accountable when you see potential bias to demonstrate to all that this isn’t part of your company culture and encourage them to think differently.

Implementing a diverse culture in the workplace

By embracing (and implementing) equality, diversity and inclusion within the workplace, employers and businesses are also embracing opportunities to attract, engage and retain talent within the logistics sector.

This is crucial at a time when the existence of a nationwide skills shortage for the logistics sector is now undeniable and the demand for services is going only in one direction.

To help increase diversity in the logistics workplace, Talent in Logistics is supporting The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge, which takes place on 8th September 2020. The event will consist of a series of fun physical, practical and mental team challenges, set to demonstrate the importance of diversity within the logistics sector, and the business benefits attained when companies improve diversity.

For more information or to enter your organisation visit www.biglogisticsdiversity.co.uk.

Writing An Award-Winning Entry That Gets You Noticed

It’s time to celebrate yours, your teams and your company’s achievements!

You’ve decided you want to enter one of the Talent in Logistics Awards because of your fantastic achievements. But what are your next steps? Do you know how to plan for and write a good entry?

If writing award submissions is not your strong point, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. 

It doesn’t have to be difficult nor time consuming, but it does take focus and planning. As a team who has written and received our fair share of submissions, we have put together ‘Your Handy Guide: Writing An Award Winning Entry That Gets You Noticed’ resource to help you along the way.

Inside this resource you will find our top 10 do’s and don’ts, key information about the process and frequently asked questions.

Entries are now open for the Talent in Logistics Awards 2020, dedicated to celebrating those who have been successful in attracting, developing and engaging talent within logistics, as well as driving the sector forward. Entries deadline closes on Thursday 25 June 2020.

Time to recognise and reward the heroes in your logistics operation

Entries are now open for the Talent in Logistics Awards 2020, uniquely dedicated to recognising and rewarding the stand-out individuals, teams and organisations within our country’s vital logistics sector. 

The awards, which are free to enter, highlight those who have been successful in attracting, developing and engaging talent within logistics, as well as driving the industry forward. This has proven to be particularly essential for the logistics sector during the coronavirus pandemic where the supply chain is under greater pressure than ever.

“The magic of our sector is in the people and that is truer now than ever, where they are working tirelessly to keep our shops, hospitals and fuel stations stocked,” says Ruth. “It has never been more important to recognise and celebrate the unsung heroes on the front line of the supply chain, such as drivers and warehouse operatives.”

“These are challenging times, but there are brilliant people and initiatives in logistics that are helping to keep the country moving, and are ensuring that our sector thrives,” says Ruth. “Our awards are uniquely focused on people, ensuring that they get the recognition that they deserve.”

Award entry forms are available to download online until Thursday 25th June when entries will close. A shortlist will be announced shortly thereafter and winners will be announced on Thursday 1st October 2020 at an event the Concorde Centre in Manchester. 

Award entries will consist of a submission of up to 1000 words, along with the option to attach three supporting documents. Download entry forms at: www.talentinlogistics.co.uk/awards/categories/ 

The awards judging panel will be made up of experts, sector leaders and influencers from a variety of backgrounds including learning and development, human resources and industry leading publications.

Award categories for 2020 include ‘Innovation in Recruitment’ which will focus on recognising new and innovative ways of recruiting talent at all levels, along with ‘Collaboration in People Development’ which will reward collaborations that have nurtured and developed talent.

The ‘Innovative Training Programme’ award will recognise a company which has a well-constructed training programme that inspires people to develop and grow, whilst ‘Training Provider of the Year’ will focus on those who can demonstrate outstanding achievements in delivery for vocational education and training. 

The prestigious ‘Training Team of the Year’ award will look for a company that can demonstrate outstanding achievements and accomplishments in their field of expertise. 

The ‘Health, Safety & Wellbeing Initiative’ award will recognise an organisation that makes each employee feel cared for and valued. 

‘Best Place to Work’ will be awarded to a company that ensures its workforce (whether it’s 5 or 50,000 people) is at the heart of everything they do, whilst the ‘Industry Ambassador of the Year’ award will go to someone who really shines out as a star – someone who goes above and beyond everyday requirements.

Celebrating those who encourage the next level of talent, whether they manage a team of 100 or simply go out of their way to inspire, is the ‘Inspirational Leader of the Year’ award. 

The ‘Excellence in Coaching and Mentoring’ title will be given to an individual who can shows a willingness to share knowledge, skill and expertise with their team in order to provide long-term benefits.

The prestigious ‘Instructor of the Year’ award will be presented to an individual who is dedicated and motivated to nurturing professionals, whilst the ‘Rising Star of the Year’ award, which was introduced in 2019, recognises those who are on their way up in the world of logistics, hardworking, enthusiastic and eager to succeed.

“There’s an award for everyone, from HR, learning and development to training and operational professionals,” says Ruth. “Entering is a great way to focus on the positive during this challenging time.”

“We’re also spreading positivity and celebrating the amazing people in the sector through our current #ilovelogistics social media campaign”, Ruth says. “We’ll be on the look out for pictures and stories about why you’re proud to work on the front line of logistics or why you’re grateful to our country’s amazing logistics key workers, so be sure to get involved online.”

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Talent in Logistics Awards event. Buy online at: www.talentinlogistics.co.uk/awards/attend

For more information on entering the awards or attending the Awards evening, call the team on 01952 520216 or email talentinlogistics@captib.co.uk .

Covid-19: How to manage changes to your work life

With the current Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, remote and flexible working has become more commonplace within logistics companies across the UK. Meanwhile, driver hours legislation has been temporarily relaxed to allow for more deliveries. 

So how can you best adapt to the new working landscape in our sector?

Safety first

Those working within the supply chain are on the ‘front line’ and are crucial to keeping the country running. So, during what is a very stressful and demanding time for workers within the logistics sector, employers should ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing of their staff is maintained. 

And this is about more than just taking measures to limit the spread of coronavirus. It is about ensuring that safe working practices are upheld, even during busy times. For instance, that those on the road are not driving tired and those in the warehouse are not operating equipment they are not trained to use.

The mental health of employees must also be looked after too as they may be more susceptible than ever to workplace stress or anxiety. Homeworking presents particular challenges around mental health, employee satisfaction and engagement.

How to be a happy, healthy home worker

Just a few years back, studies suggested that half of the UK workforce would be working from home to some degree by 2020. However, the global pandemic means that many workers don’t currently have a choice when it comes to their working environment and those who would rather be in the field, on the shop floor or in the office are now working from home.

If you’re now unexpectedly working from home, this may be a big change to your working life, so it may take some time to adapt. However, here are 5 things that you can do to make the transition to working from home easier.

1. Stick to a routine

When you’re at home, you’re within an environment usually used for relaxing and unwinding after a long day, so it can be easy to fall into bad habits. 

From working in pyjamas to failing to prioritise your daily workload as there is no manager over your shoulder, what may seem like an insignificant change can have a real impact on your day. This can in turn affect your week, and so on, to the point where before you know it, it can feel like you can’t cope. 

On the other hand, with your work at your fingertips, it can be incredibly tempting to continue working long after you’d have usually left the office. What begins as ‘just getting this finished’ soon turns into it feeling like you haven’t actually had any time away from a screen! 

When working from home, be strict with yourself from the get-go. Start the day as you mean to go on by having a routine…and sticking to it! 

Get up when you usually would, have a shower, even go for a walk to ensure that you get some fresh air and be sure to stop for lunch everyday instead of snacking here and there. You’ll find that this can make the world of difference and helps to break the day up into smaller, more manageable sections.

2. Take regular breaks

If your job involves long periods of time on the computer, be sure to take regular breaks from staring at a screen. No matter what you’re doing, breaks are important for your well-being and your productivity, so its okay to make a cup of tea or coffee, step outside for a brief bit of fresh air or simply stretch your legs as you would in the office environment.

It might seem simple but this can be easily forgotten, especially when you’re already surrounded by your everyday home comforts.

3. Interaction is key!

How often do you find that you just go and speak to someone in the workplace because it’s easier than pinging them an email? 

You’re probably used to spending more time with your colleagues than your family, so one way to help manage the change to home working is to make sure that you don’t lose contact with your co-workers. 

Tools such as Skype, Zoom and Microsoft Teams have proved in recent times how invaluable they are, allowing users to stay in touch, even if it’s just to say hello and ask how someone is getting on. 

At the moment, many people will feel isolated due to reduced social contact with not only colleagues, but friends and family members. Mental health is particularly important at this time and interaction can really help. 

Employers should continue to take care of the mental health of their employees while they are working remotely, and workers should ensure they speak to a manager if they are encountering mental health concerns due to the change in their working life.

4. Minimise all distraction

Just as you would in the normal office environment, try and avoid having anything around you that might steal your attention. This might be extremely difficult if you have children at home too! 

To begin with, it can be easy to assume that as you’re at home, you’ll be able to have a TV on in the background or even get some of the washing done during the day. However, that shouldn’t be the case.

Ensure that those who are in the house with you are aware that even though you’re home, you’re in ‘work mode’ during your regular working hours. If you’re able to, create a working space where you can set up each morning, completely focus and also easily walk away from at the end of the day.

5. Remember you’re not alone

You might be working from home alone, but you’re not truly alone. 

During these challenging times, it’s vital that you remember that the majority of the country is experiencing the same feelings as you are, the same hiccups, even the same internet problems! 

Thank You to the Heroes in Logistics!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the unsung heroes on the front line of the supply chain – such as drivers and warehouse operatives. We appreciate your efforts during this tough time and thank you for keeping our shops, hospitals and fuel stations stocked.

Join us in recognise and celebrating the amazing people working in the sector through our #ilovelogistics social media campaign. If you work in logistics, share your pictures and stories on social media of why you’re proud to work on the front line. If you appreciate the logistics workforce, share your pictures and stories and tell us why you’re grateful to our country’s amazing logistics key workers. Let’s get #ilovelogistics trending!

Or for resources that can help you learn more about engaging your workforce, even during this difficult time, click here or get in touch with our friendly team.

Talent in Logistics launches free jobs board during Covid-19

To assist logistics operations during Covid-19, Talent in Logistics has launched a jobs board in partnership with Smart recruit online, the award-winning talent attraction platform, to help promote current recruitment opportunities. 

“Dealing with the outbreak of Covid-19 is a big enough challenge for the logistics sector. There is high demand on the supply chain, with the need to keep shops, hospitals and fuel stations stocked,” says Ruth Edwards, Business Development Director at Talent in Logistics. “In these unusual times, we understand that extra resource and staff are needed to fulfil operational and delivery requirements.”

The jobs board, which launched on 27th March, is free, simple to set up and easy to navigate for employers, recruitment agencies and those in the search for current employment opportunities. 

“Mark Stephens, CEO at Smart recruit online says: “SRO are pleased to be working in partnership with Talent in Logistics, to help their members and the logistics business community address the real-life challenges associated with the recruitment and retention of staff. We aim to provide a range of highly advanced, free and low-cost solutions that can deliver tangible benefits, such as improvements to efficiency and effectiveness, as well as significantly driving down recruitment costs.”

To start posting current vacancies or search for current roles, visit www.talentinlogistics.co.uk/jobs/.

Keeping Spirits High During Covid-19: #ILoveLogistics

GET INVOLVED IN THE SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN 

Now more than ever, our unsung heroes are the drivers and warehouse operatives on the front line, keeping our shops, hospitals and fuel stations stocked up. And now is the time to show how much we all appreciate their efforts.

Whether you work in logistics or not, as we face the challenges of COVID-19, the Talent in Logistics #ILoveLogistics campaign is something everybody should get involved in.

It’s a great way to recognise and celebrate our key workers. Let’s get behind our people and showcase how vital they are to keeping our country moving.

Get involved in the nationwide campaign today. Whether you’re on the front line or would like to support from home…

If you work in logistics

Share your pictures and stories on social media of you on the front line and why you are proud to work in the sector.

If you appreciate the logistics workforce

Share your pictures and stories on social media of you holding up your own #ILoveLogistics banner why you appreciate our key workers.

 

And don’t forget to use the hashtag

#ILoveLogistics

Let’s get trending!

Pandemonium Pandemic: Will Covid-19 Change the Face of Our Industry?

Coronavirus is a truly seismic event in our history. While the UK has faced pandemics before, most notably one-hundred years ago, the advances in medical technology and process since then have rendered this crisis a first of its kind. And since few of us living today were around to witness that cataclysm, we are in virgin territory. With people confined to their homes, and the NHS on red alert, a spotlight has been put on the supply chain, and we are under pressure to perform.

But even as this event brings home the reliance contemporary society has on logistics, for many of us it will open up questions over the future of the industry. Battening down the hatches at our organisations and plotting a course through the tempest is part of it. But we are likely to see profound effects beyond these exigencies, beyond even the cost to the economy. As the historian Alfred W. Crosby once said of the Spanish Flu, it ‘had a permanent influence not on the collectivities but on the atoms of human society – individuals.’ With Boris Johnson announcing a wartime government, and lockdowns worldwide, coronavirus may do the same.

One speculation flying round is that Covid-19 might bring about the rise of the four-day working week. A compressed work week has been much touted in recent years, and there is reason to believe shifting to this new model would yield benefits beyond the obvious boost to employee morale. Microsoft Japan piloted the four-day week in August last year and experienced an impressive 40% boost to productivity, along with reduced costs. Results in other tests have also been broadly encouraging, if less spectacular.

And now, the impact of social distancing, with much of the world under near-lockdown conditions, is likely to remove barriers to more widespread trials. Business as usual won’t wash in the coming weeks. As companies scramble to reorganise ready for work-from-home, staff shortages due to illness, and market disruption, they will have no choice but to adapt. For some that will include experimenting with models that allow them to raise productivity even under reduced working hours. It may well stick.

But if coronavirus is the catalyst that leads businesses to shunt white-collar workers over to shorter schedules, where does that leave blue-collar industries? From logistics roles like HGV driver to factory work and agricultural labour, there are a great many jobs in which productivity is directly proportional to hours worked. Those hours cannot simply be cut. Robotics and self-driving vehicles may be the future, but as of yet, those pallets don’t stack themselves.

Industries already struggling to recruit will suffer most if a sudden shift in the labour market renders their working week 20% longer in comparative terms, and that is exactly what will happen if most jobs drop to a four-day week. It is difficult to say precisely how big an impact this change would have on logistics, especially when much remains uncertain about the country’s exit from the European Union. But coronavirus demonstrates just how reliant our way of life has become on an effective logistics system. The meteoric rise of online shops and supermarkets is hardly likely to be checked by the illness, despite its disruptive properties. Being forced to stay home will only push consumers further into the arms of web-based retail. The UK needs delivery drivers.

Ultimately, this may be good news for logistics workers themselves. The demand for effective employees may force organisations to be more competitive in recruitment, and it is conceivable that the increase in the relative value of a skilled worker could lead to an improvement of the employee proposition. But it is difficult to foresee what this might look like, let alone whether it will occur.

Rather than try to predict the future, we must deal with the present. Doing so will require resilience and agility. It may force big changes, and not just at the organisational level. Indeed, action taken may be ineffective unless it is approached unilaterally, and with sufficient governmental support. But despite the dark cloud that lingers over us, there are reasons to be optimistic.

Whatever criticism may be made of governments’ swiftness and decisiveness in heading off the crisis, the scale and sophistication of the techniques used would have been unthinkable a century ago. For this we must thank advances in medical procedure from the level of individual care right up to the organisational level; from the treatments patients can expect in the ICU ward up to the kind of strategic and logistical planning that takes place at an intra-national level at the WHO. These advances were brought about by innovation in response to past crises like SARS, Ebola, and of course, Spanish Flu.

Coronavirus is a seismic event in our history, but we in logistics can learn a lot from the medical world as we craft our pandemic response. We will need to respond with agility, flexibility, and a clear-sighted appreciation of the way grand strategy meets ground-level delivery. If we can do that, despite its costs, this crisis might be the catalyst for positive change.