Transport Minister Richard Holden launches the second-year logistics campaign at DIRFT’s Hub
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Richard Holden MP, Minister for Roads and Local Transport, visited The Hub, a purpose-built training and recruitment facility, at Daventry International Rail Freight Terminal (DIRFT) to launch the second year of the Generation Logistics programme.
The campaign aims to increase recruitment and diversity in the logistics field while raising awareness of “real” career opportunities in the industry, especially for young people in schools and colleges.
To ensure the success of the Generation Logistics campaign, more than £645,000 has been invested over two years as part of the Future of Freight Plan, a policy plan outlining the government's long-term vision for the UK freight sector.
Generation Logistics is a sector-led and government-backed campaign that, since mid-August 2022, has been trying to highlight what logistics can offer to the future generation of career-seeking people.
Transport Minister Richard Holden said: “Generation Logistics is a partnership between the government and industry, both putting in cash in order to really deal with what we saw during the pandemic, which was the fact that we had an ageing workforce in our logistics and freight sectors, and it was not drawing from the widest talent pool that it could possibly have drawn from.
“What we’ve been wanting to do is expand the number of people and the backgrounds they’re from in order to get into the sector.”
The Minister launched the second year of the Generation Logistics programme in Daventry. The programme's goals are to increase diversity and recruitment in the logistics field and to raise public awareness of the job options available in this sector.
During the first year of the campaign, which focused on communications, it was reported that radio and out-of-home advertising helped generate more than 3.3 million public interactions.
Transport Minister Richard Holden said: “Because this is one of our biggest growing sectors, it’s worth £163 billion pounds a year in the UK economy, and it employs about eight percent of the people employed in freight and logistics. So moving stuff around is really, really vital, and I think that all came to a head during the pandemic and how important it was.
“So what we've been wanting to do is work with industry in order to really push that campaign out there, and we've had almost 800,000 people now interact with the website, which has already been good looking at those career opportunities in the sector.”
With a renewed emphasis on education and employment options in business, Generation Logistics is primarily addressing young people between the ages of 13 and 24.
Transport Minister Richard Holden said “the key thing” is the “need to show it's a real career” and “one of the best things” about the logistics sector are the degree apprenticeships that are available in this area “so people can earn while they learn.”
On Thursday, October 19, Transport Minister Richard Holden visited The Hub at DIRFT. He said: “This is a really important development, not just for Daventry, I think, but for the whole country, especially when it comes to this sector.”
Another priority area identified in The Future of Freight Plan was the government's commitment to decarbonising the freight sector. Transport Minister Richard Holden shared how The Hub at DIRFT may be supported by these government policies in the future.
He said: “One of the big improvements in the new network north plan, when we scrapped the second leg of HS2 (High Speed Rail 2), was the fact that we want to redeploy that money around the country to really help all the parts of the country and improve.”
The "key scheme" of the Ely Junction redevelopment was mentioned by Transport Minister Richard Holden as part of the government's £6.5 billion transport investment in the east of England and the redirection of HS2 funding across the country. He said: “It might sound a long way away, but actually, that's crucial to the link between this rail terminal and rail freight across the country.
“That's going to be a real game changer when it comes to being able to shift some of that freight off the roads and onto the rail, which is, I think, what we all want to see as much more concentration wherever possible on that rail freight because it gets lorries off the road, reduces congestion, and worldwide and nationally is really important for decarbonisation as well.”
Several Northamptonshire projects have been opposed by local campaign groups, and Transport Minister Richard Holden agrees that “all developments have to be dealt with sensitively.”
“Yes, I do understand people's concerns, but the key thing here is to ensure that the benefits come here as well, and that's got to be for people from right across the community.
“We're seeing real investment in the local area, but also investment in local people, and that's what I’ve seen here today at The Hub. I'm really glad to see the logistics sector stepping up to the plate alongside the government to help deliver those opportunities for local people,” said Transport Minister Richard Holden.