Transport firms not taking up literacy and numeracy grants

Transport firms are missing out on millions of pounds of government funding for staff training, according to Skills for Logistics.

The organisation has launched a campaign to raise awareness about a £720m package that is available to a variety of industries, including logistics for vocational, literacy and numeracy training.

Skills for Logistics said the logistics industry received only 2% of the available Learning and Skills Council funding for work-based learning in 2005-06, compared with 19% for engineering and manufacturing and 13% for construction.

Mick Jackson, operations director at Skills for Logistics, told Personnel Today’s sister publication, Commercial Motor: “The logistics industry is the fifth largest sector in the UK economy, turning over £75bn a year and employing 2.3 million people, which is 8% of the total UK workforce.

“Conservative estimates suggest that some 330,000 logistics employees lack basic reading skills and 450,000 lack basic numeracy skills.

“As the fifth-largest industry sector, we should be getting a greater share of the funding to upskill our workforce and reap the benefits,” he said.

Skills for Logistics said frieght and logistics firms including Wincanton, DHL, Stiller Group and Wm Armstrong had all benefited from offering qualifications to staff.

“If logistics companies don’t adopt qualifications, such as NVQs and Skills for Life (literacy and numeracy), the funding will go to other sectors that do recognise them, putting logistics companies even further behind their customers,” Jackson said.

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