International logistics and supply chain company Unsworth is reaping the benefits of its own homegrown talent since partnering with Seetec Outsource to successfully implement an apprenticeship scheme for new recruits.
Addressing the need for skilled freight forwarders
As an established but evolving company Unsworth recognises the importance of training and developing its staff. It relies on highly skilled freight forwarders to manage and optimise freight and supply chain operations for clients, and apprenticeships offer an opportunity to train new recruits in a way that suits the business, and retain their expertise by providing industry leading development opportunities.
When Unsworth looked into introducing an apprenticeship scheme in early 2017 very few training providers could offer apprenticeships in logistics. But Seetec Outsource delivered the level 3 international trade and logistics apprenticeship framework, which provided an ideal starting point for school or college leavers with no previous industry experience.
Implementing a successful apprenticeship scheme
Seetec Outsource worked with Unsworth to recruit apprentices who were the right fit for the organisation, opening up a pool of candidates with the attributes they were seeking for both logistics and business administration apprenticeships.
Support was given throughout the recruitment cycle, including advertising vacancies and pre-screening before interviews.
Seetec Outsource also helped with the onboarding process, providing support not only to learners but also to line managers. Talent Manager Miranda Ioannou explained, “our account manager worked very closely with us to ensure we as an organisation could support our apprentices effectively. She held briefings for line managers to help them understand off-the-job training and other important aspects of the programme.”
Throughout the programme learners were also supported on a 1-2-1 basis by their apprenticeship development coach (ADC). The ADCs kept learners on track while encouraging them to become more independent. They also kept line managers updated on the learners’ progress, ensuring a coordinated approach to their development on programme.
The benefits of homegrown talent
Marnie Rose, Client Relationship Manager at Seetec Outsource explains, “Apprenticeships can play a crucial role as part of workforce planning for major logistics businesses and in supporting the growth of smaller companies”.
Unsworth soon saw the positive impact that apprenticeships were having on the business.
One of their first apprentices, Kyle Lawrence, initially joined the commercial team and quickly took on responsibly for Amazon Logistics. His passion for client care and ability to communicate enabled him to gain new business and build trust within his growing network. Within just 4 months he had helped the company to increase its Amazon client base by 26%.
On completing his apprenticeship in logistics, Kyle moved into a role in import operations. He also became chairman of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) Young Forwarders Network for the South-East region, organising events for other young freight forwarders such as visits to ports and London Gateway tours.
All of Unsworth’s apprentices have stayed with the business, enabling the company to retain the knowledge, skills and experience their employees have gained while on programme.
Developing the freight forwarders of the future
The new level 3 international freight forwarding specialist apprenticeship standard was approved for delivery in 2018, replacing the older international trade and logistics framework. Occupation-focussed rather than qualification-led, it focuses on developing the core knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for a role in international trade.
Unsworth is keen to embrace the new, industry approved standard and invest further in apprenticeships. Talent Manager Miranda Ioannou said,
“We’re committed to developing the freight forwarders of the future. Seetec Outsource shares our vision and we value their experience, expertise and proactive approach to meeting the needs of our business.”
In addition to apprenticeships in freight forwarding and business administration, Unsworth is looking to extend its apprenticeship scheme to new recruits in IT with the level 3 infrastructure technician standard.
For advice and guidance on implementing an apprenticeship scheme within your business – or to find out more about the programmes we deliver – contact our friendly team of advisers today.