The UK Government pledges an additional £300k

The UK Government pledges an additional £300k to get more young people into the logistics sector

Logistics Made Easy lmerecruitment | 10th Jul 2023

In a time when UK businesses are feeling the economic pinch, when inflation is biting and the threat of recession looms, there’s one sector that’s bucking the seemingly ubiquitous never-ending spiral of commercial belt tightening: the logistics sector.

Hot on the heels of 2022’s Generation Logistics initiative, the UK Government has announced that they intend to raise awareness among those aged 13–24 of the career opportunities the logistics sector affords.

This commitment will see an additional £300k of government funding used to encourage educators in schools and higher education institutions to help steer more young people towards a career in logistics.

In the last 12 months, Generation Logistics has delivered a comprehensive awareness campaign that has been successful in championing the advantages of a career in logistics to young people aged 16 and above. June 2023’s £300k cash injection clearly demonstrates that the initiative has been successful.

A collaborative effort

The success of Generation Logistics is no small feat. It has transformed young people’s perception of the sector. Sure, logistics may not be as appealing to young people as hospitality, health, or even marketing, but it’s a darn sight more appealing to this demographic than it was a decade ago, heck, even five years ago.

You only need to look at the stats to see this. The initiative has influenced more than 2.9 million people and generated 500,000 visits to the Generation Logistics hub. The effort the logistics sector has made to get the attention of the younger generation is commendable, especially when you learn that the established Ambassadors Network has more than 280 logistics professionals all working together to inspire new talent through events and engagements.

This is a collaborative effort between more than 40 leading logistics companies and trade organisations nationwide and is managed by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT UK) and Logistics UK. And it’s working.

What those in the know have said

The government’s continued commitment was first confirmed by Transport Secretary Mark Roe at Road Transport Expo 2023, who said that the campaign demonstrated the breadth and diversity of the career opportunities available to young people in the logistics sector.

Harper said, “We continue to work closely with industry leaders, such as CILT (UK) and Logistics UK, to fully understand the needs of the industry, and this is yet another step we’re taking to grow the economy and support industry across the UK.”

Phil Rowe, executive sponsor of Generation Logistics, added, “It is fantastic news that the DfT has committed to supporting Generation Logistics for a further year and is recognition of the results we have achieved so far. This support lays the foundations for the campaign to push into its second year at what is a critical time for the industry.”

What does this mean for recruitment in the logistics sector?

It may sound like hyperbole, but it has the potential to be a revolution. As it stands, 81% of transport managers are over the age of 45, according to the Road Haulage Association. By 2029, a good proportion of transport and logistics managers will reach retirement age.

Historically, the younger workforce has viewed the sector as one for the older generation. Millennials and Generation Z simply didn’t consider logistics as a sector where they could build a career and achieve their aspirations, with the sector creeping evermore towards an ageing workforce with each passing year.

Generation Logistics has made great strides to change this perception in recent years. This has seen a change in recruitment approach, with businesses leveraging digital platforms to appeal to younger people. As the decade unfolds, this won’t change. In fact, it’ll likely accelerate.

The signs are there. Engagement as expansive as 2.9 million is surely proof that the initiative is working, something that the logistics sector needed.

Logistics as a future-proof career

Let’s be honest: since 2008, the UK’s economic situation has been volatile. Now, we’re not saying that there haven’t been years of great prosperity—far from it—but many of us still remember the Great Recession of 2008, Brexit, and, more recently, COVID-19. These three circumstances have significantly impacted the career opportunities of Millennials and Generation Z.

You can’t blame young people, especially those who are switched on and ambitious, for wanting to future-proof their career; after all, life is getting more expensive with each passing year!

Logistics is a future-proof career and an economic powerhouse. In 2023, the UK logistics sector was said to be worth $481 billion. It is forecasted to reach $652 billion by 2028, growing at a rate of 6.2 CAGR year-on-year.

Want to secure your long-term future? Working in the logistics sector is, arguably, the safest bet you can make.

Reasons why young people should consider a career in logistics

Apart from the obvious reason of working in a blossoming sector that’s bucking the economic trend and attracting investment, there are several reasons why young people should give some serious thought to a career in logistics.

Are you interested in learning more? We’ve collected a smattering of reasons why a career in logistics could be the best decision you ever made.

There’s a surplus of new jobs.

You hear it bounded around that automation and AI will take away people’s jobs in sectors like logistics. This is not the case. And we’ve already seen this.

Digitisation and automation have not made people obsolete. Instead, we’ve seen a greater demand for more skilled workers to fill the duties that automation and AI cannot. What does this mean? Well, the boring, repetitive jobs go to machines. Innovative and fulfilling roles go to people.

And let’s not forget the current AI pushback we’re experiencing right now. Sam Altman, CEO of Open AI, the company that developed Chat GPT, has already sounded the alarm, as has Elon Musk.

It seems that many in the know are standing firm in their belief in putting the brakes on AI. Does this mean innovation will stop? Unlikely. Does this mean that automation will come at the expense of actual jobs? Also, unlikely.

The sector’s stability

This we’ve already highlighted, but it’s worth reinforcing. The logistics sector offers long-term job stability. Let’s not also forget that there are many different elements to the sector. Young people can find their niche in management, freight, warehousing, transportation, you name it.

Best of all, skills are transferrable. It’s not like a young person having one, three, six-, or ten-years’ experience working in social media and then deciding to become a florist!

Attractive salaries

Now we know. It’s not all about money. But in an inflation-ravaged UK, how much a young person is paid, and their future prospects become important.

The more experienced and specialised you are, the higher the salary you’ll be able to command. This gives young people the opportunity to climb the ladder and achieve a lifestyle that makes them happy and content after a few years of grafting away.

Global opportunities

Want to see more of the world? Good news: the logistics sector is a global one. Once you’re qualified and experienced, there’s nothing stopping you from hopping on a plane and seeking a better life for yourself abroad.

The logistics sector is a $4.3 trillion industry globally. According to the Logistics Performance Index (LPI), Germany has the greatest global logistics footprint, followed by Sweden, Belgium, Austria, and Japan.

If you fancy working abroad and seeing the world, the opportunities are there.

Stepping stone to international business

The logistics sector is a perfect gateway to international markets. So many career paths young people tend to follow are only viable domestically. UK doctors cannot practise medicine in the USA. UK lawyers, barristers, and solicitors cannot practise law in the UAE.

Now, hospitality is an exception. Digital marketing is another. If young people want a stable career that they can practice abroad, they’d be hard pressed to find a more viable career than one in the logistics sector.

A career in logistics will give young people exposure to international business. They can learn about foreign markets, giving them the opportunity to explore different, exciting opportunities in the sector and even others later down the road.

A bright future lies ahead.

When all’s said and done, the logistics sector is one of the most resilient, stable, and opportunity-rich sectors in the world—one that allows young people to grow and prosper.

The latest injection of £300,000 only outlines the UK Government’s commitment to making the sector a global powerhouse for years to come.

The bottom line is that there has seldom been a better time for young people entering the workforce to join the ever-expanding logistics sector.

In a time of economic volatility and ever-decreasing opportunities for young people in some sectors, they can make the choice to have a better life today and tomorrow by committing to a sector that wants them.


Straight from the Bird’s mouth