The UK Logistics Sector Must Continue Working With Europe To Attract New People

  • The UK Logistics Sector Must Continue Working With Europe To Attract New People

In the wake of the UK referendum result last week it's essential that UK logistics commits to continue working and collaborating with the European logistic institutes, organisations and companies in order to foster and develop people who want a career in our sector.

The common principles of European logistics are familiar, regardless of which part of the continent you're in, and the very nature of logistics means that we need to make it clear that opportunities will still exist for those wishing to work in other countries, PARTICULARLY those coming in to the UK.

Let's be clear; the result doesn't mean that a European worker won't be able to work in the UK; it simply means that there'll be more hurdles to jump over. In fact we should look to the trade associations and industry bodies to reinforce the message to UK government that our sector will rely on homegrown AND continental workers.

Let's face it; skills development through common platforms (and love it or loathe it I'm looking at Driver CPC!) means that standards are already more aligned than they would be with a worker from outside the EU, therefore the amount (and cost) of training a new European recruit will ultimately be less and the working practices far more consistent.

UK universities often rely on EU funding to carry out research, development and engagement, and so the potential loss of funding will hit hard on those institutions that specialise in logistics; the knock-on effect could be a reduction in the number of graduates and / or work placements.

This puts even more pressure on companies to engage in nurturing and developing the next set of workers coming through, and while many already have a good process for developing their staff (warehouse to wheels for example) and the forthcoming apprenticeship levy will help to address some of the shortfall it still won't solve the problem of the skills shortage. That's why our sector needs to maintain our relationship with Europe, and it's why we need a robust and effective policy for those who have the necessary skills to be able to live and work in Britain.