Logistics training investment grows despite challenging economic climate

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Despite the challenging economic environment, a survey of logistics, transport and supply chain operations professionals has revealed that investment in training and development has seen a welcome increase in the sector over the past 18 months.

Almost three quarters of respondents (72 per cent) said that training opportunities and funding had either stayed the same or actually increased – a jump of almost 10 per cent over 2011. However, amid fierce competition in the workplace, the support available still appears insufficient, with 53 per cent of respondents signaling that their employers were unable to offer the level of training they were looking for.

The survey was commissioned by Aspire, the careers foundation set up within The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (UK) – CILT(UK) – covering 475 CILT members during the first quarter of this year.

The results highlight the importance of training investment for both employers and employees, with seventy per cent stating that training and attaining professional qualifications had positively impacted their salary levels. In a volatile economic environment, reward and recognition for the right skills and qualifications are an important factor in staff retention, and in attracting new employees to an organisation.

By contrast, the absence of training and qualifications is regarded as a substantial disadvantage, with 30 per cent of respondents citing a lack of skills, training and qualification as a reason for being held back in their career. The lack of a degree in particular, was seen as a considerable block when seeking management roles and several respondents had gone on to study for qualifications later on in their careers in order to progress. This proactive trait is further evidenced by the fact that 46 per cent of respondents said they would switch to another discipline if training were available.

Leonie Edwards, Aspire Manager said: 'Even in a flat economy there are encouraging signs of investment in training and professional development in the logistics, transport and supply chain operations sectors. Individuals are becoming more discerning and look to their employers to provide them with the right training opportunities as an important part of job satisfaction.

We saw the largest jump in results here from the previous survey carried out in 2011. Now, 53 per cent are not getting the training they are looking for, against 40 per cent in 2011. This shows, more than ever, that individuals are taking greater responsibility for their own career progression as the market remains highly competitive and more graduates are looking to enter the workplace."

The results of the survey have highlighted the importance of Aspire within the logistics, transport and supply chain operations sectors. Aspire provides training and career development opportunities for those who may not otherwise have access to such support. Funding is available for a range of courses, from driver CPC through to advanced diplomas in logistics and transport.

Results summary:

474 respondents (2011: 600)

  • 85% rate training as important or extremely important in their careers
  • 29% of employers have decreased training, 55% stayed the same, 17% increase over the past 18 months. (2011: 63% increased or stayed same versus 72% in 2013)
  • 53% said employers can't offer them the training they want (2011:40%)
  • 30% say they've been held back in their career by a lack of training or qualifications (2011: 30%)
  • 46% would change to another discipline within logistics, transport or supply chain operations if training were available (2011: 42%)
  • 70% say training and qualifications have a directly positive impact on their salaries (2011: 67%)
  • 27% have heard of Aspire (2011: 20%)

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