Untapped talent for hire: making the most of our armed forces community

On 29 July this year, the Government created a new office for Veterans’ Affairs with the Rt Hon Oliver Dowden MP and Johnny Mercer MP sharing responsibility for the role. This move is hugely significant in recognizing the value former service personnel bring to society and the workplace, says Debbie Scott, Director and Co-Founder at Scott Communications.

Commenting on the new office, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Veterans have given so much to the UK. They have so much to offer our workplaces and wider society and it would be a dereliction of duty not to harness that potential.”

And yet despite numerous studies showing the positive contribution ex-forces personnel can bring to industry, there are still obstacles standing in the way of the 16,000 people who leave the UK’s military every year. There are 2.6 million veterans in the UK, along with approximately 35,000 reservists who lead dual careers in the military and in civilian jobs. This is a vast untapped pool of talent waiting to be recognised by employers.

Some employers do get it and of those who actively recruit ex-military people, 72 per cent say they would recommend employing veterans. Furthermore, around 90 per cent of organisations that go out of their way to employ veterans say they are particularly strong in core skills areas (Veterans Work, Deloitte, 2016).

To date, more than 3,000 organisations have demonstrated their support for the military by signing the Armed Forces Covenant. The Covenant stipulates that no member of the armed forces community should face disadvantage at work or in the community, compared to other citizens.

However, there is still a lack of awareness of the Covenant and an associated lack of appreciation of the skills veterans and reservists have to offer. Great strides are being made as the Government gets behind the drive to make organisations understand the business case for attracting, recruiting and retaining military talent. However, the best way to overcome misperceptions around veterans and reservists is to highlight the many success stories.

Embracing Innovation, New Skills And Sustainability In Logistics

Talent in Logistics Journal Editor Dan Male spoke to Rob Fisher, Event Director at IMHX to discover how the logistics sector is responding to the rise in global economic uncertainty.

IMHX is the largest single gathering of logistics professionals in the UK, taking place every three years at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. Contained within 380,000 square feet of exhibition space, there are over 450 exhibitors, all seeking to share the best of their businesses and demonstrate their offerings. Ironically, this is roughly the size of a distribution centre that many logistics professionals will work in on a daily basis. However, with over 16,000 people in attendance, the conference is a little busier than the average warehouse distribution facility.

With a publishing background, Event Director, Rob Fisher, has written about the logistics sector for over 20 years. Commenting on the event as he considers the vast array of displays and demonstrations across it, Rob says: “It truly is the only place where visitors and buyers can come and see products in action. It is a very interactive and engaging exhibition.”

The winds of change: Opportunity and risk

Proud that the conference is mirroring trends across the whole logistics sector, Rob excitedly adds that this year, there was “more automation and robotics on the show floor than there ever has been in the past”. With vast leaps in the technology behind artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the tools to enable large-scale and rapid data analytics and automated processes are becoming available to all operators. “This is replacing some of those more manual repetitive jobs that exist within the logistics sector,” says Rob, meaning “there is definitely an upskilling needed to enable logistics companies to move towards semi-automated operations.”

While this does not necessarily mean jobs will be lost and staff will be replaced by machines, it does mean that a different skillset will be needed across much of the sector going forward. “I think there is definitely an opportunity for logistics professionals, as providers are seeking completely different skillsets from the ones they were looking for ten years ago,” says Rob. Increasingly, companies are looking for data scientists to join existing teams, and the sector is trying to be more proactive than reactive. This means understanding goods flows, customer behaviours and cultural habits to ensure the sector is prepared for different eventualities.

Challenges

“One of the biggest challenges today is land availability,” says Rob. With a substantially limited amount of available warehouse property available for operators to rent, finding the right real estate in the right location is a limiting factor for many logistics companies. This is exacerbated by planning restrictions and high demand for land for other purposes such as housing. Due to the vast power requirements of large distribution centres, meeting this demand with adequate supply is a struggle for many developers. Some facilities even require their own substation to ensure a consistent power supply.

Considering the implications of wider socioeconomic circumstances, many conversations will certainly be centred around what happens if there is a no deal Brexit, reflects Rob. “With such little capacity and warehouse space in the UK and everything optimised for just-in-time delivery, there isn’t the ability just to start stockpiling,” says Rob. “There are only two days’ supply of toilet paper at any given time in the UK supply chain,” for example.

IMHX in 2019

This year the show featured a bolstered line up of speakers, leading discussions on everything from robotics, with Alex Harvey from Ocado Technology talking about the impact of AI and automation on logistics, to Philip Shaw from Investec asking: Is this the Brexit endgame? Alongside the Centre Stage Theatre, the Skills Zone boasted a full programme giving practical advice to employers about attracting talent, managing career development for the existing workforce and ensuring staff are engaged, for everyone from service engineers to forklift truck operators.

At the heart of industry discussions is a need to go back to basics to ensure the public know what’s being discussed when we say logistics. This, for Rob, is about helping people to understand “what happens when you buy your tin of beans on your electronic gadget and you expect it to be on your doorstep 24 hours later.”

Alongside developments in technology, core operational business and workforce skills, Rob Fisher reflects on the industry’s focus on environmental sustainability. “We’re seeing more operators adopting the use of lithium ion as a greener fuel source for powering their trucks,” says Rob. “Logistics is definitely an industry that is constantly looking at sustainability, down to how much packaging it uses and how to reduce plastics within the sector.”

Logistics is not a sector generally associated with being at the forefront of green policy, with product haulage being a key contributor to global emissions. As well as sector changes, there is a need to educate the consumer, suggests Rob. “The reality of free returns is that every purchase, especially in fashion, that is returned touches seven pairs of hands before it gets put back for sale. There is a massive cost there as well as a big carbon footprint.”

The show must go on

IMHX serves a whole host of purposes but one of Rob’s primary motivations is boosting the skills agenda and making the logistics sector more diverse and attractive to a wider range of people. “We’re delighted that for the first time we were able to host the Women and Logistics Conference,” says Rob. The four-day event plays its part in recognising the achievements of those championing diversity and kick-start the conversation. “My advice to the attendees coming next time is to make sure they book for two days rather than one,” concludes Rob.

Our Mental Health Is Crucial To Road Safety

Improving the mental health and wellbeing of professional drivers is one of the most pressing, yet widely ignored, issues in Britain today, says Tom Footitt, Business Development Manager at How’s My Driving?

How’s My Driving?

Since 1995, the team behind social enterprise How’s My Driving? has endeavoured to make the UK roads safer. The road safety sticker service independently gathers feedback given by other road users and helps businesses recognise patterns in driver behaviour via management information reports, alongside reducing claims, fuel costs and helping to drive down insurance premiums.

By placing the How’s My Driving? sticker on a vehicle, drivers are not only more accountable, but businesses are better able to identify issues and target training requirements. As well as managing irresponsible handling of vehicles, at the most extreme it allows for the identification of wellbeing issues.

Identifying something more

One of our members had a string of out-of-character reports for a long-serving team member about aggressive driving behaviour on Monday mornings. Through an open and honest conversation with the driver, it was revealed his home life was significantly disrupted, particularly over weekends. However, he didn’t feel it was a problem he needed to discuss or one that affected his behaviour. Following action taken by the team to raise the issue with the driver and offer support, a potential incident was avoided and the driver was able to change his behaviour.

This type of situation demonstrates the value of having How’s My Driving? feedback. Without it, the driver was placing both himself and others at risk of an accident. The difference between a collision and a fatality is quite often down to chance. However, the data provided through How’s My Driving? can be used to ensure driver wellbeing and act as a proactive, preventative management tool.

Supporting driver mental health

According to mental health charity MIND, 30 per cent of self-certified illnesses experienced by employees in the logistics sector are mental health related. While 22 per cent of workers have been diagnosed with mental health issues, less than half have felt able to inform their employer. The logistics industry has long talked about needing to find a solution; now is the time to act.

In 2018, 6,507 people took their own life. This is an average of 18 people every single day. 75 per cent of these people were men. This is of growing concern in the logistics industry whereby the workforce is male dominated and often involves prolonged periods of isolated working.

The Battling Suicide Bus, supported by How’s My Driving?, was created to address the stigma surrounding mental health issues. Since July 2018, it has been on a UK-wide tour visiting towns, cities, service stations, universities and workplaces to raise awareness and prompt people to talk about mental health. Whilst the bus itself is not operated by mental health experts, it functions as a place to come and participate in a genuine conversation with a colleague, friend or stranger.

Starting a conversation

5asideCHESS takes less than four minutes to play and is played on a six by five chess board using half the pieces found in the traditional game. No prior knowledge of the rules is needed. Rather, the focus is on getting people away from the stresses of modern life and engaged in a chat. The staff at How’s My Driving? are very proud of the impact the bus and by extension, chess, continues to make and are keen to help other businesses that are prepared to implement long-lasting changes to make a genuine difference to their workforce.

Sending a lasting message

As well as facilitating conversation, The Battling Suicide Bus is a canvas of messaging about people’s personal experiences with suicide. It has been signed by more than 400 people, all offering messages dedicated to those lost to suicide. This illustrates the devastating impact caused when someone takes their own life. One message on the bus simply states: “I wish we went for that pint, mate”.

“This is only the start of the conversation; the sector must respond and work together to deliver solutions,” says Tom.

In future, the aim is to encourage businesses to take on the challenge of driving the bus themselves, visiting their own teams and communities. The bus and game of chess provide the tools to start positive action, which will continue when the bus is no longer there. However, with raising awareness comes the need for follow-up action to be taken. This is only the start of the conversation; the sector must respond and work together to deliver solutions.

If your business demonstrates a real and tangible commitment to connecting and promoting positive mental health in the workplace then why not get involved with the programme of activity to promote wellbeing at work? The wider benefits of membership include the funding of road safety projects, supported by the profits from membership fees each year.

Fuelling Professional Development

Clipper’s objective is simple: to keep clients ahead of the retail curve. To do this, the industry needs to ensure it successfully attracts and develops talent, says Richard Cowlishaw, Group HR Director at Clipper Logistics.

The logistics industry is evolving and retailers are demanding evermore innovative services to respond to the latest shifts in consumer behaviour. The sector is seeing a distinct shortage of future leaders entering the workforce, therefore, the need to develop and retain talent is on the rise. Furthermore, the continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit, which will cause many European workers to leave the UK, will likely see the industry hit a critical new low.

At Clipper, we have responded to these issues with a forward-thinking solution, an apprenticeship degree programme, specialising in leadership and supply chain management. Over the course of three and a half years, Clipper promises to educate the next generation of students in line with emerging technologies and a cutting-edge curriculum, to guarantee the highest quality of professional development.

Additionally, we are championing an internal 18-month graduate scheme aimed at developing the skills, knowledge and ambitions of our recruits, to help them embark on long, varied and successful journeys within the logistics sector. Every year, course material is updated in line with new developments and tailored to its students’ needs to inspire their transition towards managerial positions.

Clipper Logistics has been operating at the forefront of retail logistics for over two decades, from 47 sites across the UK and Europe. With a peak workforce of over 10,000 people, the business is celebrated for continually evolving to meet the needs of retailers by developing innovative solutions.

The opportunity of apprenticeships

Funded through a national apprenticeship employer levy, apprenticeships allow individuals to gain a degree as part of their employment. By implementing these programmes, Clipper expects to improve the future of logistics with a significantly more knowledgeable intake of candidates boasting real-world experience.

Clipper believes that the training and development of its people benefits not only them, but Clipper as a business. Training helps staff understand and meet the requirements of their current role, whilst preparing them for future promotions and career moves. Clipper works closely with its teams to identify the training each individual needs in order to do their job to the best of their ability.

Apprenticeship programmes at Clipper are offered to both those just entering the industry, as well as existing employees, whilst additional staff training opportunities are also offered, including:

A driver CPC programme, using state-of-the-art simulation cabs
In-house training modules aimed at management and leaders

In addition to its apprenticeship programmes, Clipper has also forged a relationship with Derby University to develop a training programme to support the students who were already undertaking a degree in Logistics and Supply Chain

Management. Together with the university, Clipper is able to provide students with the ability to obtain real world skills and experience, while completing the programme within the logistics environment.

Team Clipper

Across the board, there is a need for the sector to support workers at every level, from providing the best education to supplying the tools people need to succeed. To ensure this level of personal development continues, we developed Team Clipper. This initiative celebrates the breadth and depth of knowledge and experience found across each of the Clipper sites and encourages staff to work as a team. This initiative demonstrates Clipper’s commitment to recruiting, developing and nurturing the best talent in the logistics industry.

Fresh Start

There are over 11 million marginalised people in the UK, including some with disabilities, physical or mental illnesses, ex-offenders, ex-homeless people and refugees. In April 2018, Clipper launched Fresh Start, an initiative to focus on alternative sources of recruitment in the event of a labour shortage following Brexit.

Working with a variety of partners, Clipper has been able to offer a greater number of employment opportunities for individuals wishing to enter the workforce, while enabling the business to create bespoke labour solutions based on individual client needs. By supporting vulnerable people, Fresh Start has created a more diverse and inclusive, loyal and longer-serving workforce. The initiative has now become a significant arm of Clipper’s recruitment strategy, with over 400 people employed through the programme so far and a retention rate of 92 per cent.

Developing systems that not only retain but also invest in employees is paramount to driving growth and preparing businesses for the challenges that lie ahead, both in terms of the evolving retail landscape and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Clipper currently works with some of the most celebrated brands on the High Street, including John Lewis, Asda, Superdry and Wilko, and has also been at the forefront of e-fulfilment for over ten years, working with the likes of PrettyLittleThing and ASOS.

Equipping Teams To Unlock Performance

The Spanish logistics provider, Discema, specialises in the distribution of beverages for the hospitality sector, much of it through its 12,500 square meter Valencian distribution centre. In order to distribute 4.5 million crates of beverages per year, Discema relies on the hard work of staff and high-quality equipment that enables them to do their jobs.

Three years ago, management at Discema decided to invest in new equipment from truck manufacturer UniCarriers. According to Rafael Olivas, Managing Director at Discema, “the vehicles UniCarriers offered best met the company’s expectations.” Rafael added that at Discema, they are “always looking for products that are considered to be the most effective for the business.”

Ensuring the business continues to operate efficiently is no small feat, especially when there are roughly 7,000 customers to provide for daily. Having a strong, well-trained and well-equipped workforce is essential to achieving maximum productivity. However, this is not possible without ensuring the right interface between employees and their tools.

Matching man and machine

Discema purchased a number of TX4 model electric trucks for use in its warehouse. Not only are these electric vehicles environmentally efficient, they are also highly ergonomic. “We really like the ease of use with which UniCarriers has equipped its TX4. The hydraulic operation is very quiet, and the unique hydraulic levers enable intuitive and comfortable handling,” said Rafael. Over the past few months, Discema has gradually incorporated several TX4s from UniCarriers into its warehouse operations. Five such electric powered vehicles are now in use.

The second important aspect that the TX4 brings is efficiency, which can be measured by the load capacity: “Our pallets weigh around 800 kilograms, so the trucks with a load capacity of 1,800 kilograms can easily load and unload two pallets, which improves our efficiency, saves us time and, above all, increases our productivity,” Rafael explains.

Regardless of sector, there is a need for professionals not only to know how to use their tools, but to be able to operate them in a way that optimises productivity and adds to their craft. In logistics, this is as important as ever, especially when it comes to heavy machinery and pressurised schedules. There are further benefits to having the right equipment, including increased safety, risk mitigation and lower levels of stress for employees as more work can be done quicker and with less chance of incident. As companies like Discema continue to expand, having the right equipment allows staff to react better and cope more confidently with renewed demands from the business.

Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2020

In partnership with Nimble Media, we are delighted to announce that Talent in Logistics have become a delivery partner for the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2020.

The event will take place on Wednesday 24 June 2020 at Newark Showground, which 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.

Vicky Binley, Director of Nimble Media said: “We are delighted to be working with Talent in Logistics to deliver such an important event to the sector. We look forward to welcoming teams to demonstrate their passion, support and enthusiasm for the brilliant work that the logistics sector undertakes.

“With companies booking to return, early interest indicates the 2020 event will exceed the 300 attendance figures from this year’s event.”

The event will bring together logistics professionals to look at how we can tackle diversity collaboratively and collectively in an informal setting with many of the leading companies in attendance.

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

You will be in great company with companies already confirmed including; Yusen Logistics, Howdens, Coca Cola, Den Hartogh and University of Derby.

Do you think your team has what it takes? Register your interest below to keep up to date with all the latest from the Big Logistics Diversity Challenge.

Early bird rates are available until 30 November 2019.

REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

“A great team building day that encourages colleagues to work together on a number of different challenges – requiring teamwork, collaboration and (perhaps most of all) encouragement! The event was well organised, executed and fun, all whilst promoting the importance of diversity across organisations.” – Ellena Austin, Yusen Logistics

“It was really a fantastic event. As students, we could not only adapt to communicating, working and coordinating with different people in a diversified environment in advance, but also get a better understanding of how diversified working environment of the logistics industry is.” – Zhen Zhou, Warwick University

“The ultimate way to celebrate diversity within the industry, with a thoroughly enjoyable mix of physical and mental challenges designed with everyone from every walk of life in mind.” – Danny Mahmood, Amey

Think Logistics Launches Video Series To Promote Opportunities Across The Sector

Think Logistics has launched a series of compelling videos free for all companies to use to show young people the variety of career opportunities available across the sector through the voices of people like them.

The short films cover a variety of subjects, from an industry-facing edit aimed at attracting more supporters to Think Logistics, to student-focused interviews and several ‘day in the life’ shorts demonstrating to viewers exactly what working in the sector is like. The bitesize clips are designed to be effective on individual company’s social media channels and company websites.

Think Logistics founder, Steve Granite, said: “This is an opportunity for companies of all sizes to use these films free of charge to raise awareness of the sector and directly benefit from increasing the size of their talent pool for opportunities in their businesses.” 

“Having been involved in Think Logistics from the start, I have seen countless examples of the benefits young people can bring to an organisation; we hope these videos will enable companies to easily demonstrate what opportunities are available and how the reality of working in logistics is very different from what people may think.

“These films are not the property of Think Logistics; we consider them the property of the sector, as we hope they will support new talent coming through, change perceptions of the profession and increase the number of people who consider logistics as a career path. “I’d like to thank Department for Transport for the funding provided to produce these films, on behalf of the logistics sector.”

The release of the films marks the end of the Think Logistics Working Party that was set up in 2017 to create a common strategy to attract young people into logistics. Those organisations included Abbey Logistics Group, Career Ready, CILT UK, FTA and NOVUS. The concept of “Think Logistics” is now a major driving force across each organisation.

The initiative also pulled together NOVUS, who operate under the umbrella of CILT (UK) and focus on university students, and Career Ready, a UK-wide employability charity that works with schools and colleges, as both entities work with companies to open up the world of work to young people.

Both organisations run structured and coordinated programmes that depend on support from logistics volunteers. With increased support from the sector, and more companies joining each month, Career Ready and NOVUS can deliver more mentoring, workshops and work placements, securing future talent for the profession.

To access the films please click here or to download copies for offline use please click here.

Repainting the negative image of logistics

Repainting the negative image of logistics

There is a UK wide skills shortage across many sectors, not just in logistics, says Sally Gilson, Head of Skills at the Freight Transport Association (FTA). We are competing for the same talent as the digital, banking and construction sectors, amongst others, all of which tend to be more popular with young people.

I started my own career within the logistics sector by accident. Since 2015, FTA membership has been concerned about the lack of new talent entering our sector, hence the FTA has given me the opportunity to help people discover logistics.

Once you work in logistics, it’s hard to imagine leaving. I am a passionate believer that logistics can provide an exciting and dynamic career, but people are not aware of the opportunities because we are modest about our accomplishments.

Want a delivery next day even though you’ve only just made the purchase online at 11:59pm? We can do it! Make everything for Christmas arrive on time? No problem! These are the areas of logistics which the general public are aware of, but they likely don’t realise that without a truck, the NHS wouldn’t function, that schools wouldn’t open, that we wouldn’t have clean water and cash machines would be empty.

Supply chains are incredibly complex and involve a multitude of people, processes and job roles to ensure they run smoothly. However, unless you are Brexit obsessed and have been listening to the many issues regarding the continuation of these movements after the UK has left the EU then you probably wouldn’t be aware.

Keeping visibility of logistics

There are many issues within our sector that can’t be overlooked. For example, a lack of funding for suitable training, unappealing working hours, poor facilities while you’re out on the road and a public that seem to have a negative image of what we do.

We need to change the narrative and start promoting what we do. We can do this by engaging with children at school via schemes like Think Logistics. Think Logistics is a part of Career Ready, a charity working with schools to provide careers advice. It is reliant on volunteers involved in the sector going to schools to present about logistics, their businesses and how diverse the careers are.

Employers can provide workshops, mentor students and run internships. There are many options involving as little or as much money and time as you choose to commit. For the volunteers this is completely free of charge, but Think Logistics offers guidance to help them through the process. So many businesses dabble with social media.

However, very few manage to use it as a tool for tangible business growth. For those that do understand how to make the most of the reach that these platforms present, there are substantial rewards. This also applies to logistics as a sector, which needs to make better use of social media.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube offer excellent platforms to promote business successes and case studies, which can help change the negative image that has been established in the public mind. Whether it be due to poor air quality, congestion or safety issues, the sector as a whole has a PR problem that needs to be tackled if it is to attract the right talent to address the workforce problem.

We need to own our messaging. The supply chain process has become so complex that the public cannot be blamed for a lack of understanding about what logistics involves. It is up to us, the sector, to explain how it works and its importance to the wider economy. Examples of successful strategies include day in the life video clips posted on social media to promote careers, tracking journeys of clothing from Asia to a store in Stourbridge and explanations of how the sector deals with unexpected delays and what this means for the industry and wider economy.

The FTA’s Labour Shortages Conference will be taking place on 29 October in Birmingham, where we will be discussing how we can engage with our local communities, invest in training, run recruitment campaigns and make better use of social media. Our sector is full of passionate people who love logistics, but we need to learn to be less modest and take every opportunity to promote the benefits.

Talent in Logistics Announces “Develop Conference” for Trainers

Talent in Logistics Announces Develop Conference for Trainers

Talent in Logistics has released details of its new event – the Develop Conference – designed to support instructors, trainers, training managers and L&D professionals who are responsible for developing people in logistics and transport operations.

“Not all industries face the same challenges when it comes to training. Yet until now, there hasn’t been a conference specifically dedicated to supporting the 16,000+ lift truck and LGV trainers in the UK,” says Ruth Edwards, Business Development for Talent in Logistics. “The Develop Conference fills this void.”

The new event takes place at Hotel Football in Manchester on Wednesday 22nd January 2020, providing a dedicated forum for trainers, instructors, professional training providers and in-house training teams to address and solve learning challenges.

With exciting live panel discussions, seminars and Q&A sessions, all led by logistics and transport sector experts, the future-focused event gives Instructors and trainers a unique and valuable professional development opportunity, as well as a rare chance to network with, and learn from, other training professionals within the profession.

The Develop Conference agenda, which will shortly be announced in full, will include topics relevant to anyone responsible for logistics and transport training. Confirmed sessions will cover what trainers need to know about future skills requirements, regulatory bodies, emerging training technologies and apprenticeships.

“For 2020, we’ve created a new series of events. This includes three separate conferences throughout the year which will look at talent attraction, workforce development and employee engagement,” says Ruth. “We’ve had three highly successful annual conferences but believe more regular events will allow us to focus on each subject in more detail.”

The first Develop Conference in January will be followed in April by the brand-new Engage Conference, designed for HR Directors and Managers. The event will be focused on how to engage with employees to increase productivity, reduce staff turnover, improve absence and safety incident rates, and help achieve a higher customer satisfaction rating.

The Talent in Logistics calendar continues in June with live competitions, followed by the Attract Conference in September focusing on how to best reach the range of potential employees needed to bridge the skills gap in the transports and logistics sector.

The year of Talent in Logistics events culminates in October with the fourth annual Talent in Logistics Awards, designed to recognise and reward the people that keep the logistics sector, and country, moving every day.

The announcement of the 2020 events schedule follows the recent launch of the Talent in Logistics Journal, a new magazine providing strategic insight for senior level people across the transport and logistics sector and professional training providers. The publication provides truly independent perspectives on the workforce issues facing the logistics sector today.

“Our mission is to support employers in the multimodal logistics profession with relevant events, insightful publications and free online resources,” says Ruth. “No other organisation is dedicated like we are to the 2.5 million+ people working in the transport, logistics and warehousing sector.”

“This sector comes with specific challenges, and we often hear from training managers that generic talent events and publications miss the mark,” she continues. “Talent in Logistics helps fill this gap, giving organisations the tools with which to address the skills, training and career progression of their staff, retain exceptional people and attract new employees.”

Tickets for the Develop Conference are £75+VAT. To register for the conference visit www.talentinlogistics.co.uk, contact talentinlogistics@captib.co.uk or call 01952 520216.

Sign up for a free issue of the Talent in Logistics Journal online at www.talentinlogistics.co.uk.

It’s Time To Register For The IMHX 2019 Forklift Operator Challenge

Talent in Logistics working in partnership with UniCarriers UK are calling for Britain’s most skilled operators to take part in this year’s Forklift Operator Challenge at IMHX 2019 from 24-27 September.

Visitors to stand 6B190 will have the opportunity to demonstrate a high level of skill and accuracy by operating the UniCarriers award winning TX3 Electric Counterbalance Truck. Before the challenge, the UniCarriers team will familiarise each entrant with the truck. To take part, one has to be a qualified counterbalance lift truck operator and provide proof of that on-site. Each entrant, having completed the challenge, will leave with a Talent in Logistics/UniCarriers giveaway.

Ruth Edwards, Business Manager at Talent in Logistics says: “Forklift operators have a challenging role and don’t tend to get highly recognised for their hard work, which is why we want to celebrate these individuals and encourage them to continue their efforts.

“With UniCarriers as the official 2019 sponsors of the Forklift Operator category at the Talent in Logistics Awards, it seemed a perfect fit to continue our partnership by working together to host this unique challenge, which will also encourage future operators to enter our 2020 competition.”

Chris Bates, Sales Director at UniCarriers UK, comments “The Talent in Logistics team always creates visually intriguing driver challenges. Our event at IMHX will not only test the participants skills from the very start but will also provide the audience with a vibrant spectacle. UniCarriers will provide each entrant with a truck familiarisation session before they take part, so they have every chance of performing at their best.”

Booking has now opened for the challenge, those wishing to partake are urged to register for their 30-minute slot prior to the event and register for their free place at IMHX 2019.

Talent In Logistics Recognises Best And Brightest

The third annual Talent in Logistics event delivered an incredible line-up of speakers and nail-biting live competitions, culminating in a glittering awards ceremony recognising ‘best in class’ businesses and personnel across the sector.

Speakers included legendary Olympian Steve Backley, OBE, who drew on his background in sports psychology to give an inspirational presentation about the importance of mental preparation and various attributes that lead to success.

Among those taking gold at the awards night itself were Sainsbury’s Argos in the Best Place to Work category, new for 2019, with judges being hugely impressed by the high levels of colleague engagement, safety and departmental productivity at the Basildon distribution centre, which has been recognised as a Centre of Excellence.

Meanwhile, Michael Price of Clipper Logistics was named Inspirational Leader of the Year, while Collaboration in People Development went to Tesco, Scania Training & South Essex College. Eddie Stobart scooped the Training Team of the Year title.

TiL’s annual conference and awards event took place on June 27th at Marshall Arena and Doubletree by Hilton, both in Milton Keynes.

The conference’s talks and seminars spanned three dedicated theatres – attract, develop and engage – and equipped attendees with the skills and knowledge needed to make real improvements to people strategies, employee engagement and talent attraction. Delegates who are members of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT UK) are entitled to four CPD hours for attending.

As well as Steve Backley OBE, expert speakers included Gwen Powell, international manager for Investors in People (IIP), who led a seminar on defining culture in order to retain talent. A session was also led by Think Logistics on solving the skills gap through youth employment.

The conference also featured the Forklift Operator of the Year live final, which enabled delegates to watch a series of exciting interactive challenges as finalists went head-to-head for the title, which was won by Kris Scarborough of Wilko.

This year also welcomed an exciting new competition; the inaugural LGV Driver of the Year, which was won by Alex Hudson of JJX Logistics. This accolade not only celebrated the drivers who are the face of the logistics industry, but provided another thrilling live spectacle.

Following the conference, the Talent in Logistics Awards saw the introduction of several new categories, such as Innovation in Recruitment and Rising Star, which were awarded to Kuehne + Nagel and Tienne Oates of Wincanton respectively.

Ruth Edwards, business manager at Talent in Logistics, said: “Our awards are testimony to the unsung heroes we have in this sector. Standards were exceptionally high, showcasing the very best in innovation, as well as work ethic. I’ve been really encouraged by the number of businesses putting team members and initiatives forward, which speaks volumes about the confidence they have in their work, as well as the future of logistics.”

The winners announced on the night were:

  • Best Place to Work; Sainsbury’s Argos
  • Collaboration in People Development; Tesco, Scania Training & South Essex College
  • Industry Ambassador of the Year; Bethany Fovargue, NOVUS
  • Inspirational Leader of the Year; Michael Price, Clipper Logistics
  • Instructor of the Year; Matthew Brooks, Rock City Stage Crew
  • Innovation in Recruitment; Kuehne + Nagel
  • Innovative Training Programme; AO Logistics
  • Rising Star of the Year; Tienne Oates, Wincanton
  • Training Provider of the Year; GTG Training
  • Training Team of the Year; Eddie Stobart
  • Forklift Operator of the Year; Kris Scarborough, Wilko
  • LGV Driver of the Year; Alex Hudson, JJX Logistics

Ruth added: “This year’s event has been the biggest yet, and I am incredibly proud of the hard work and creativity demonstrated by all the entrants and the Talent in Logistics team. The impressive innovation happening across the logistics sector is incredibly encouraging, especially considering the important role the sector has to play as we look towards a future of changing the perception of logistics to recruit new talent, particularly from groups that are currently under-represented.

“The main aim for this year’s conference was to work collaboratively with organisations and individuals to make a difference with the challenges the sector is facing, whilst ensuring our key focus is on the people who are seldom recognised, but without whom our sector could not survive, and we feel that we achieved this.”

Zombie Nation: Insurer Warns Of Britain’s Overtime Culture Putting Lives At Risk At The Wheel

• New survey shows nearly one in ten drivers have fallen asleep or nearly fallen asleep at the wheel due to work pressure

• More than a quarter of UK road traffic incidents may involve someone who is driving for work

• One in twenty drivers have responded to work emails at the wheel

A new survey of British workers has exposed how the UK’s overtime culture is putting drivers at risk at the wheel, owing to poor sleep, pressure to respond quickly and stress and distraction. 

The research1 by business insurer NFU Mutual found that more than a third of people who work full or part time in the UK are expected to work outside of their contracted hours (35%). 

It also found that 30% are expected to respond to calls and emails out of hours, and sometimes slog away late into the night (46%). 

Nearly one in ten who also drive for work have actually fallen asleep or nearly fallen asleep at the wheel as a direct result of work pressure (8%), while a quarter have driven tired specifically due to out-of-hours work demands. 

Some even combine the two and work while driving – 16% admitted to being on a work call or conference call while driving and one in twenty people (5%) have actually responded to work emails while at the wheel. 

More than a quarter of all UK road traffic incidents involve someone who is driving as part of their work, according the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)2. Recent figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistics arm, also showed Britons work more hours than anyone else in Europe – an average of 42 hours a week3. 

Rebecca Richards, Business Insurance Specialist at insurer NFU Mutual, said: “Brits work longer hours than any other European country. If businesses focus on increasing productivity and reducing costs, staff could feel the need to put extra hours in to climb the ladder or even keep their job. This can cause fatigue which is one of the biggest killers on UK roads.”4

“In a digital world, bosses should be aware that employees might also feel pressure to respond immediately – it’s alarming that some people even respond to emails while driving. Motorists should always follow the law and park up in a safe, legal place if making a call, using hands-free technology. Companies can help look after their staff on the road by making sure their culture is distraction-free, excusing them from calls if they are travelling.”

Rebecca also explained how 28% of workers who drive had been asked by bosses to get to a location at the last minute. For 27%, work pressures have directly caused them stress and distraction behind the wheel.

One anonymous company had a stark wakeup call when a high-performing young employee suffered a near-fatal crash. She fell asleep at the wheel during a 280 mile-round trip to a presentation after working through the night. The impact didn’t even wake her. 

This sent shockwaves through the company and cultural change began immediately. An outright ban on emails being sent out of hours without management authorisation was set in place, telematics were brought in to monitor employee driving behaviours, and work-life balance was established to keep staff safe and protected. 

In the research by NFU Mutual, only 38% of respondents agreed that their employer has a suitable culture to help workers drive safely. 

Rebecca concluded: “Positive workplaces mean more engaged and productive employees. Companies which introduce safe driving policies and encourage a culture where employees can speak up about workloads, might just save a life.”

For the full case study, stats, report and further information and advice, please visit: www.nfumutual.co.uk/business-motor-safety

Advice for employers to improve culture and driver safety from NFU Mutual:5

1. Any health and safety policy that truly lives and breathes within the day-to-day of company life is likely to be more effective in reducing risk both to employees and the public. The HSE suggests asking yourself:

– When was your road safety/ driving at work policy last reviewed?

– How confident are you that the behaviours required by the policy are adhered to? 

– Do the workload expectations actively promote these behaviours, or do other business pressures subtly undermine them? 

– When was the last time that the conversation on staying safe on the roads was raised in your division?

2. In the event of an incident, where it can be evidenced that effective health and safety procedures are in place, this can be looked on favourably. By contrast, where the investigation finds that the policy does little more than gather dust, or where business decisions such as cost-cutting (e.g. staff reduction leading to unmanageable workloads) contributed to the incident, this is likely to have a negative impact on sentencing.

3. Seemingly small changes can make a big difference:

– If you phone one of your team and hear they are on the road, ask them to call back when they’ve arrived at their destination and quickly end the call.

– Review your schedule of meetings requiring field teams to travel: are they all necessary? Can technology or alternative communication methods help?

4. Take time to review the expectations on your team, and the impact they may be having on their time and wellbeing in a holistic sense.