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Just do one thing…

With young people being hit the hardest by the pandemic's disruption to the jobs market, now is the time to drive apprenticeship opportunities forward.


The under-25s saw the biggest rise in unemployment during lockdown, and some graduate or entry level roles have attracted thousands more applications than usual.

According to HMRC & the BBC, under-25s were more likely to be furloughed than any other age group and in the first three months of lockdown, half of eligible 16 to 24-year-olds were placed on the scheme, compared with one in four 45-year-olds.

Carl Hobbis, BIFA’s training development adds:

“As a result, there has been a stark decline in the number of apprenticeships starting this year, mostly owing to the impact of Covid-19.  Latest figures suggest that International Freight Forwarding (IFF) Apprenticeship starts are likely to be down by approximately 66 per cent.   “We are at an important crossroads and we must protect the future of the sector as we step ever closer to Brexit.

“A recent survey of BIFA members showed that a staggering 65 per cent feel they don’t have enough staff to cope with the extra demand.

“We understand as businesses struggle to regain normality and balance the books, they have a lot of difficult commercial decisions to make, but we firmly believe that shelving apprenticeships should not be one of them.   “However, it is vital to continue to recruit freight forwarding apprentices and build capacity to start equipping a new generation with the knowledge and skills to face the challenges ahead in the post Brexit and post-COVID world.   “BIFA helped create the IFF Specialist apprenticeship which went live in 2018. It has been described as an ideal entry point into the sector by industry leaders and more than 430 apprentices have already taken this pathway to great success. Whilst these number are relatively small; it is a big start from zero.

“Furthermore, protecting the future of the logistics sector is the responsibility of everyone involved, and action is needed to ensure a stable and profitable future for all. More than ever, we need industry leaders to support virtual events with schools, colleges and community groups, to promote the sector. Not enough was done in this area pre-COVID, it should be easier now, via Zoom, MS Teams etc.   “If every BIFA member – we have over 1,400 – just gave one young person an opportunity via the apprenticeship pathway, whether IFF or another standard, the difference it would make for the wider industry and its future would be huge.

“So, we urge you to do just one thing, consider giving a young person an opportunity.”   Visit BIFA’s dedicated apprenticeship website to find out more  apprentices.bifa.org

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