'Thought-provoking' FTA Summit focuses on skills shortages

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Around 500 people attended the Freight Transport Association's 'thought-provoking' summit which examined the skills shortage in the transport and logistics industry.

The Attract, Recruit, Retain event, held at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, looked at the skills shortage across the whole industry, including drivers, fleet managers, technicians and engineers.

Key issues included apprenticeships and the Apprenticeship Levy, engaging with young people, attracting women into logistics and industry image.

The interactive sessions prompted comments about the skills needed to drive an HGV, the negative impact of the migrant crisis in Calais on the industry and the career path from apprentice to CEO.

James Hookham, deputy chief executive of the FTA, said: “The summit built on the success of last year’s event and really focused on the barriers and issues that are preventing our industry from effectively recruiting and retaining staff.

"There were some thought-provoking presentations and lots of lively contributions from the audience which will hopefully encourage them to think about developing effective strategies.

"There is still a great deal to be done to improve the public perception of the logistics industry and make it a desirable place to work, but the response from delegates and their overwhelming desire to tackle these issues has been extremely encouraging.”

The day included a series of panel sessions and masterclasses covering issues surrounding school leavers, jobseekers, foreign workers, armed service leavers and retaining the skills that organisations currently have.

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