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Launch of UK-Dutch Logistics Career Colleges network to benefit learners

Eastleigh College is one of seven FE colleges involved in The Career Colleges Trust, which has joined forces with STC International in the Netherlands to launch a pioneering network of specialist logistics colleges.

The aim of the initiative is to provide young people with the skills they need to access careers in the exciting and evolving sector, while supporting the logistics industry to continue its rapid expansion through the post-Covid 19 economic recovery.

Eastleigh College is the only college in the Solent region to be included in the network, which also includes leading FE colleges in Merseyside, Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Avon and South Wales.

Eastleigh has worked with the Career Colleges Trust and Open Awards which have developed the new Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications in Logistics and International Supply Chain Management.

Lou Gittens, Vice Principal Curriculum at Eastleigh College, explained: “This is an exciting new venture which mirrors Eastleigh College’s ethos for having industry standards and employer expertise at the heart of our courses, and we’re delighted now be offering these courses. [Logistics & Supply Management courses]

“The new provision will be delivered via a blended learning approach, in partnership with STC International – a specialist port logistics college based in Rotterdam, Netherlands.  Our learners will take part in collaborative learning and both virtual and face-to-face teaching, with the opportunity to take part in study visits to Rotterdam and work experience placements.”

A number of specialist logistics experts including those from the STC Group, DHL, Logistics UK and Maesk have been involved with the development of the new qualification, ensuring that every element of the curriculum is relevant to the logistics industry.

Eastleigh College’s Logistics Curriculum Manager, Paul Austin, added: “These courses offer unparalleled exposure to this fast growing sector giving learners the opportunity to gain hands-on experience alongside their qualification.

“As well as understanding current practices, students will gain insight into emerging technologies such as robotics, drones and cryptocurrencies.”

Joint CEO of the Career Colleges Trust, Mark Silverman, said: “This is an exciting time for the Career College network and I am delighted with the support we have had from this forward-thinking group of FE Colleges.

“Logistics is a rapidly expanding industry, offering a wide range of careers that many young people are not even aware of. As the economy begins to recover post-Covid, it is vital that we work with industry to focus on growing sectors, identifying new skills gaps and exciting employment opportunities.

“Our link with Dutch logistics training experts, STC, is hugely beneficial, helping students, staff and employers in our cluster to remain connected to the EU. This initiative highlights that connections with our European economy can and will continue as we move forward.”

The logistics sector is growing rapidly, driven partly by the pandemic. It offers a wide variety of careers including project management and digital technology-based roles, including AI and robotics as well as international development and customer service opportunities.

Currently employing over two million people in the UK, the logistics sector is expecting skills shortages to increase dramatically over the next five years. There is a lack of young talent at all levels, with businesses reporting a declining number of applications for logistics specialists, as well as dispatchers and transport service managers are also being in demand.