The majority of road logistics professionals see apprentices not as trainees but as the next generation of management.

Key terms used to define logistics apprentices from the top ten answers in a logistics apprenticeships survey March 2018 by LSA included, talent, leader, developing, mentored, able to finish jobs and even stakeholder.

There was a strong vision that logistics apprentices are the next generation managers.

This sits in the context of the evolving trailblazer apprenticeships in logistics that span from warehouse and storage operatives through to heavy truck LGV drivers. Such apprentices are funded via levy payments for larger employers and a weight of such employers operate in the UK logistics hotspots. One key hot spot is Heathrow and that made for a very targeted group of logistics managers to be asked what they believe the term of apprentice means.

No-one answered 'junior workforce', no-one mentioned churn or retention;  the majority of answers by logisticians of what an apprentice was, repeated uniformly, was 'next generation managers'.

The survey was run by Logistics Skills Alliance, LSA at the TfL LoCity Fuels in Action event, Kempton park Tuesday March 20th event. A hot house of 500 invited guests, the majority, operative logistics managers looking for vehicle final mile clean air fuel solutions. Operational logisticians at the front line working with a wide array of drivers delivering final mile in the supply chain.

LSA asked the questions to identify what do these managers see in the next generation workforce they are so closely aligned with ?

The logistics showcase focused around vehicles and final mile delivery, an opportunity to ask logistics managers questions about terms in the sector from a road perspective lens. An environment outside of training, a great opportunity to capture operational logistics professionals and ask them about the term apprentice of whom many were rich in their teams.

What is an apprentice in logistics ?

Answer this question, using no more than five words and without using the word 'apprentice' - 'What is an apprentice in logistics ?'

  1. Trainee developing, a mentored stakeholder
  2. Our future talent.
  3. Pupil to next generation worker.
  4. Someone able to finish jobs.
  5. The next generation to lead.
  6. Future skills from the beginning.
  7. Trainee to be a future employee.
  8. Passionate and willing to learn.
  9. Keeps the wheels turning.
  10. Future asset to the business.


Method – Methodology

The survey was carried out by LSA team at the TfL LoCity Fuels in Action event March 20th at Kempton Park near Heathrow logistics hot spot. 500 registered guests visited the all-day seminar exhibition. A showcase of alternative fuel vehicles in the yard area exceeded twenty different vans and trucks.

The question was driven through a lens of logistics practitioners in road delivery.

An exhibition inside showcased systems and fuels that could impact on clean air solutions in logistics. Seminars running parallel through the day kept a strong captive audience who viewed vehicles, visited the exhibition stands and attended the seminars. Free lunch kept the audience from 9 am until mid pm when the seminars concluded with panels.

The audience returned to the exhibition between seminars and was captured with a question paper; answers were anonymous. Guests were further encouraged to engage with the gift of a free Curly Wurly chocolate bar for their answer.

Engagement was strong.

LSA were guests of TfL to showcase learning in logistics relevant to clean air, safe and efficient driving, fuel-efficient driver training, DCPC and Manager CPC-style courses.

LSA team took the opportunity to focus on the event visitors who in majority were front-line managers in road logistics, had teams of drivers across a variety of vehicle sizes.

In a bid to identify what the road logistics managers view of apprentices was, a question was designed to elicit the meaning of the word apprentice, using five words to answer but not the word 'apprentice'.

First results show a strong view that apprentices in logistics are future managers.