As the UK’s National Apprenticeship Week gets under way, XPO Logistics has announced it will take on 120 apprentices across 2016.
The company, which acquired Norbert Dentressangle last year, has 60 sites throughout the UK and says it has recruited more than 270 apprentices since it started running an apprenticeship programme in 2013.
In addition to warehousing, transport and HGV driving, XPO will also take on apprentices in HR, finance, technology, customer service, facility operations and maintenance.
Mark Simmons, HR director, supply chain – UK and Ireland for XPO Logistics, said: “Our apprentice programme continues to earn terrific feedback from both the apprentices and the operational leaders in our business. Retention rates are increasing year-on-year and 97% of our current apprentices say that they see themselves having a long-term future with XPO Logistics. This is a tremendous endorsement of our training programmes.”
Another name in the UK logistics sector giving its backing to National Apprenticeship Week is Jungheinrich, which has announced it will be recruiting 17 apprentices.
Steve Shakespeare, Jungheinrich’s director of customer service said: “Similar to many UK industrial sectors, intralogistics is suffering from a major shortage of talent. As one of the industry’s leading companies, we recognise the important role that we play in attracting and developing new talent, and so we have launched our largest apprenticeship recruitment initiative yet with 17 new positions.
Although the full extent of a potential skills shortage in the operations and logistics sector is not known, in some parts of the industry it is already becoming more apparent. Last month, we reported on the health of the HGV driver community, where 22% of all drivers are over the age of 55 but only 3% are aged between 18 and 25. We have also looked into the potential impact on recruitment and wages from the EU/UK referendum and an increase to the current national minimum wage.
National Apprenticeship Week runs from 14-18 March, and is part of a government-led initiative to champion non-academic routes into structured and fulfilling careers for young people.