During National Careers Week, we were delighted to announce that Northamptonshire and the wider South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) will be the first location in the UK to benefit from the Prologis Warehousing and Logistics Training Programme (PWLTP).

Part of the global Prologis Community Workforce Initiative (CWI), established by Prologis Inc in 2019, the PWLTP is a digital learning and development programme aimed at training those leaving education and re-skilling the unemployed by equipping them with the knowledge needed to pursue a career in logistics. Globally this programme has an ambitious target of re-training 25,000 individuals by 2025. In the UK, the programme in Northamptonshire and the wider SEMLEP area aims to put 500 local people through the PWLTP by the end of 2021 alone.

Working in partnership with the Supply Chain Open Education Academy (SCOEA)  – a Northamptonshire-based academy providing education and training for the supply chain sector – the PWLTP  will use a combination of online and in-person teaching and learning experiences to enable students to gain the skills, knowledge and competencies required to find and build a career within the logistics sector. The programme will be based at The Hub – our new centre for logistics training and education – at Prologis RFI DIRFT in Northamptonshire.

With unemployment in the UK currently sitting at 5.1% as a result of the pandemic, the logistics and transport sector is one of the only sectors actively recruiting and currently provides 2.6 million jobs – a figure that’s expected to grow. It’s also a sector that provides a broad range of job opportunities: from warehouse and fork-lift truck operatives through to customer service advisors, automation engineers and data analysts. It’s also a sector that saw its employees obtain keyworker status during the pandemic, leading to a new appreciation for the role of individuals working in logistics roles. Indeed, recent research conducted by Prologis UK suggested that 1 in 2 people believe that logistics workers are perceived more positively now, as people become more aware of the industry’s value.

A doubling in the level of online shopping during the pandemic means that demand for workers has never been greater across the transport and logistics industry. With UK unemployment rising, the Prologis Warehousing and Logistics Training Programme initiative will enable young people and the unemployed in Northamptonshire to develop the skills needed to work within the sector, at no cost to themselves.

This not only brings obvious benefits for the individuals and the area of Northamptonshire – where the number of people employed in logistics is double the national average: it’s also great news for the logistics businesses located on our Prologis Parks in the region as this new programme will ensure an ongoing source of skilled employees for their operations.