St Helens College and Knowsley Community College were joined by a host of VIP guests and industry players on Friday to unveil the Northern Logistics Academy at one of the sites in Kirkby.
On Friday 2nd December, over 100 VIP’s including local MPs, councillors and industry employers representing several sectors across the global logistics industry came together to help launch the Northern Logistics Academy, a project approved late last year by the Liverpool City Region’s growth deal fund in a bid to help close a growing skills gap.
Councillor Ian Maher, portfolio lead for Employment and Skills for the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, said: “The £1.38m of funding from the Growth Deal will ensure that the Liverpool City Region can offer logistic skills training and learning opportunities to meet employer’s needs, which will play a critical role in future economic growth.”
Asif Hamid, Interim Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “The Growth Deal funding secured will help unlock the region’s potential as an economic powerhouse and this investment in this new Northern Logistics Academy will help our young people acquire the right skills for the future.”
The Northern Logistics Academy has two sites, one in Kirkby and another on Langtree Street in St Helens. The investment has seen the development of brand new standalone distribution and warehouse environment training centres equipped with IT rich data processing centres with logistics software suites and dedicated transport simulators, providing a realistic student training facility.
The two centres offer students a realistic working environment in which they can learn about product movement, from the initial receipt of goods through to storage, picking, packing and despatch as well as forklift truck training and HGV operations. An elevated viewing gallery will allow students to observe a working warehouse in action.
Rt Hon George Howarth MP officially opened the facility. He said: “This new development is a very important step forward in training local people for an employment growth area - logistics. I hope this will prove the first of many such training opportunities.”
Following the plaque unveiling, visitors were treated to an interactive tour of the Cherryfield Drive facility which included logistics software demonstrations from Mandata, a showcase of the Business on the Move board game and information on training courses that are available. Other highlights included an interactive simulation of a lean manufacturing process in partnership with KZN Solutions Ltd, equipment displays from Jungheinrich and HGV trucks on display from Eddie Stobart, Abbey Logistics and Coop and Wincanton.
The Northern Logistics Academy has been designed and developed with key employers to meet the future skills needs of the sector, helping to bridge skills gaps and develop tomorrow’s workforce. The equipment, resources and facilities will create a training environment that prepares both young people and adults for a career in this growing industry by providing qualifications and training to update and complement existing skills and to develop new ones.
Anne Pryer, Principal of Knowsley Community College and Jette Burford, St Helens College Principal welcomed guests to the event and added: “Logistics is central to the dynamic growth of the Liverpool City Region and our work with key employers in this sector has contributed to shaping our Northern Logistics Academy. Our aim is to provide a pipeline of professionals to the sector over the next 20-30 years. The opportunities that this presents to young people and adults cannot be underestimated and we believe that the Northern Logistics Academy will be truly transformational in creating an employer centred approach to skills development for logistics.”
The new Northern Logistics Academy has received support from key employers in the sector including Jungheinrich, Asda, Bibby Distribution, First Ark Group, Matalan, Suttons Group, Warrant Group and many more. This is complemented by backing from both industry and membership bodies including the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).
(Left to Right) Anne Pryer, Rt Hon George Howarth MP, Jette Burford unveil the plaque at launch
Students try the interactive simulation of a lean manufacturing process from KZN Solutions Ltd