Inspiration for the next generation of forwarders

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Chadd Blunt hopes to inspire the next generation of UK freight forwarders and encourage interested young people into the industry in his new role as governor of the Young Forwarder Network.

Blunt, CEO of Birmingham-based freight forwarder Millennium Cargo, became a governor of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) Midlands network to help bridge the increasing age gap in the sector through taking an active role in helping to promote the association’s new career development initiative in the region.

BIFA launched its Young Forwarder Network to provide support to the career prospects of young people and their professional development through a network committed to promoting the logistics and forwarding sector as an exciting career choice.

Blunt, who joined the industry on leaving school, will help to promote the Midlands network and use more than 30 years of experience within the industry to help young people to capitalise on the benefits of a career in freight forwarding.

The lack of young people within the supply chain and logistics sector is highlighted by statistics that up to 33% of the workforce is approaching retirement age.

With such a small cohort of  Millennials coming up through the ranks, concerns are arising among businesses that such a recruitment problem could damage the world’s supply chains and even grind the nation to a halt if action is not taken.

Blunt believes the problem lies in education: “Whether in school or in higher education, there is a significant lack of schooling on supply chain and logistics despite the fact that it is an integral part of society’s makeup, and yet a huge proportion are still blissfully unaware of what freight forwarding and logistics actually involves,” he said.

Recent studies have found that 42% of young people know what “logistics” means but that only 8% consider the sector to be an attractive career option.

“The demand for freight will not only continue but is likely to increase over the next decade therefore more needs to be done within education to position freight forwarding and logistics as an aspirational career prospect for young people in order for the United Kingdom to continue to develop successfully,” Blunt said.