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UK Freight Association reintroduces face-to-face training programme

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has confirmed that some of its extensive portfolio of training courses will return to being conducted in person, as it strengthens the team of people that deliver that training.

“Delegates have shown their appreciation for being able to complete our various courses online since classroom training was suspended in March 2020. They have also expressed their desire to receive face-to-face training. Hence, we plan to reintroduce classroom sessions from late April 2022,” explained executive director Carl Hobbis, who has overall responsibility for BIFA’s training activities. “Whilst we will recommence face-to-face training, our successful online training courses will continue.”

The first course to return to the classroom on 27 April 2022 at Heathrow, will be Customs Essentials. This is a one-day course that provides knowledge around the key customs documentation and regimes. It is ideal for someone with a basic understanding of the industry.

There will be a return to the classroom for BIFA’s four-day BTEC Intermediate Award in Customs Export and Import Procedures, commencing in May. This course is designed for those that would prefer a formal qualification and covers a wide range of customs-related topics.

On 26 May 2022, BIFA’s Freight Forwarding Essentials course will re-commence in person. This one-day course is ideal for someone new to the industry and provides a basic knowledge around the key documentation, modes of transport, insurance, bookings, charges and consolidations.

Hobbis added: “Despite having to deliver our entire portfolio of courses online in 2021, it was an excellent year for the trade association’s training programme, culminating in our decision to appoint an additional full-time trainer to our training delivery team.”

Lisa Rose has joined BIFA as trainer – freight and customs procedures, giving the trade association a four-strong team based in Manchester, Birmingham and Feltham, which will enable it to deliver more training days for its members during 2022.

Rose, who joins BIFA from Intelligent Global Logistics, will be based in the Midlands, and has over 20 years of experience in freight forwarding and logistics. This includes management and supervisory roles, including branch manager, covering sales, customs, customer service, documentation, special projects, and key account management. Prior to Intelligent Global Logistics, she worked in senior roles at Air Menzies International for over a decade.

Hobbis said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Lisa to the team that delivers our freight and customs training. She has extensive industry experience, and in 2020 achieved a distinction in BIFA’s BTEC in Customs Export and Import Procedures, so has practical experience of the trade association’s training activities. Having her onboard will help us to further demonstrate that BIFA’s freight and customs training programmes are the most engaging in the industry.”

BIFA director general, Robert Keen said: “Our previous prediction that Brexit, the switch from CHIEF to CDS, and the development of a relevant freight forwarding apprenticeship, would lead to a significant increase in the demand for our training programmes, has been proved correct. We hope to see more of our members start to take on more apprentices and Lisa’s appointment strengthens the team to have the resources in place to handle any further increase in demand that accompanies the growth in apprentice employment.”

Davies Turner trainee recruitment programme enters 10th year

The trainee recruitment programme operated by UK freight forwarder and logistics company Davies Turner has entered its 10th year.

The latest group of recruits for its 2019 training scheme recently completed their initial induction programme at the company’s regional distribution centre at Coleshill in the UK.

The Davies Turner training scheme, which includes both BIFA-accredited and in-house training in its wide-ranging and multimodal freight services, as well as its international logistics operations, is designed to offer a foundation in all elements of the forwarding industry.

The new trainees will learn all aspects of Davies Turner’s multimodal business during the training scheme, which started this month, and – subject to performance and practical experience – they will have the opportunity to progress into management and supervisory roles.

During the training programme participants spend time in all surface freight and logistics divisions, in addition to gaining an overview at Davies Turner Air Cargo, central administration, IT and the company’s accounts department.

Once again, this year, Davies Turner has also recruited additional trainees separately to the group training scheme who will receive training specialising in one area of the company’s business, such as overland trailer services, ocean freight or third party logistics. 

Davies Turner Group Chairman, Philip Stephenson, said: “Although training and apprenticeships for graduates and A-level school-leavers wishing to follow a career in freight forwarding and logistics are firmly back on the agenda in the UK following the recent introduction of the Apprentice Levy as well as the Trailblazer and Government Apprenticeship schemes, Davies Turner has always been ahead of the curve on this important issue.  We need to recruit and train good all-rounders to safeguard the long term future development of the company as well as benefitting their own career satisfaction”.

“We are now in the tenth year of investing in our own comprehensive training programme and I’m pleased to report that most of the more than 100 trainees that we have recruited over the last decade are still working within the company, which I attribute to our mentoring system and determination to challenge trainees with interesting and responsible career opportunities at the end of their two years learning with us.”

University of London unveils supply chain management degree

A brand new degree from the University of London, delivered in partnership with City – University of London’s Cass Business School – aims to give students a 360 degree perspective and learn about the managerial and analytical tools to manage global supply chains.

The MSc in Supply Chain Management and Global Logistics will also help students learn how to successfully lead supply chains of the future by creating cultural of innovation and adopting latest technologies in all sectors of their organisation.

Co-Programme Director Dr Byung-Gak Son stressed the importance of an effectively managed supply chain, which contributes immensely to the success of global companies like Amazon, Unilever, Nike and The Coca Cola Company.

“Given the enormous challenges of increasingly global and fragmented supply chains, we professionals require a sound understanding of emerging opportunities and risks and the knowledge and tools to handle them,” said Son.

“Our degree was developed as a result of rigorous research that we carried out to identify the skills needed by large organisations to successfully manage their supply chains. As a result, we aim to combine a comprehensive understanding of the subject and related disciplines with in-depth knowledge in relevant specialised areas such as innovation and technology management, supply chain finance or analytics.”

Sam Brenton, Director of Educational Innovation and Development, University of London, said: “We know that today’s professional learners value flexibility and choice. With our unique model, students on the MSc can study entirely online, or with local tuition from our global network of teaching centres.

“Academic direction is provided by the renowned Cass Business School, part of City, University of London and one of the world’s leading business schools. We look forward to welcoming our first cohort of students in April, as they study for a prestigious University of London degree anywhere in the world – at work, from home or on the move.”

Applications are now open, and close on Monday 4 March 2019.

To find out more about the MSc in Supply Chain Management and Global Logistics, visit: https://london.ac.uk/courses/supply-chain-management

BIFA: £8m funding for customs training ‘very welcome’

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) has welcomed the recent news of an £8 million government funding scheme for customs intermediaries and traders.

Grants have been made available for all customs intermediaries and traders completing customs declarations. The aim of the grants is to support training and the upgrade of IT systems.

According to BIFA, the government has actively engaged with freight forwarders, independent customs brokers, and fast parcel operators in order to understand the needs and challenges industry bodies face in supporting current and future clients.

This scheme is intended to help support the extra demand for customs brokerage services associated with the UK’s departure from the EU, as well as issues associated with the replacement of the current system used to process customs entries.

Robert Keen, director general of BIFA said: “During our meetings with both HM Treasury and HMRC, BIFA highlighted the concerns of our members regarding the capability of the Customs brokerage sector to increase capacity, at a time when that sector already faces a shortage of staff of suitable quality.

“We emphasised that it could take up to a year to train staff to be fully conversant to prepare a range of basic Customs declarations, even if there was a sufficient number of trainers to train those staff, as well as relevant courses for them to attend. So, the news of this funding is very welcome.”

The grant includes HMRC providing an investment of £3 million to fund increasing training capacity.

BIFA also notes that the grants include £2 million to fund training for intermediaries and traders completing customs declarations (or intending to complete customs declarations in the future). The grant will provide funding for up to 50% of the cost of training staff.

There is also £3 million available in IT improvement funding, available to small and medium sized employers in the customs intermediaries sector currently completing customs declarations on behalf of importers and exporters. The grant will fund investment in packaged software that increases the automation and productivity of completing customs declarations.

BIFA is encouraging those who believe they might benefit to apply early. Applications will close on 5 April 2019, or earlier once all the funding is allocated.

More information and grant applications can be found at: GOV.UK