Interface design is better than it’s ever been. Our capacity to
create novel interactions and meaningful experiences within a digital space has
revolutionised the way that we consume culture and it is changing the way we
learn. When you consider how technology supported your learning as a child,
from abacus to calculator, chalkboard to whiteboard, table to spreadsheet,
education has always integrated technology to improve experience.
What is so revolutionary now is that 99% of us carry smartphones, which has led to a paradigm shift in interaction design. Borrowing from the lessons learnt over the last 40 years of video games, are new languages for contextualising and communicating information. Underneath the hood of many gamified apps are tried and tested mechanics polished through thousands of hours of user testing – play is a cornerstone in how humans learn about the world. From play-fighting to play-dates, we explore social, cultural, educational values through play and mobile technology can enhance and expand upon it.
At Skills for Logistics, our End-Point Assessment (EPA) portal has been built to include interactive videos, multimedia quizzes and a whole palette of tools for us to create novel, inspiring learning content. We wanted to create compelling content that is engaging for a wide range of learning styles, that can be accessed on any device, at anytime. It is so important to use every tool available to empower the next generation with the skills they need to rise to the challenges of today. Mobile gamification of education allows us to properly compete for the attention of our students in a noisy, chaotic world.
If you’re interested in our interactive End-Point Assessment portal and how it could help your apprentices achieve, then please do get in touch. Email or Tweet us!
We chaired a Think Tank at the Automotive Logistics UK Summit, on ‘recruiting and retaining the right talent’. Answering question from some of the sectors most influential and leading organisations, here are the highlights of what we discussed!
So firstly, how do you identify who the right talent is? You go through a rigorous recruitment process and still struggle to find the ideal candidate.
Easy (ish) -you need to build a profile of an ideal candidate from your existing model employees that you feel represent who you are and what you do well. Peer review is always a useful tool – although the interviewing process is usually completed at a more senior level, it would be beneficial to incorporate some of your model employees to participate at this stage. They’d act as a benchmark for exactly what you want, as well as being a useful tool in helping you to identify the skills, characteristics and behaviours you need to really do the job.
Suffering from an aging work force? What can you do to attract a younger audience?
yourself where does the audience you want to attract reside? Utilising social
media as an effective tool to engage with a younger audience is imperative. The
retail industry for example targets a young audience specifically. H&M’s
“place of possible” campaign video, mostly importantly, only released on YouTube.
Using a platform’s targeted advertising to appear before videos watched by
their target demographic. Target marketing at its best as far as we’re
How do we retain our talent though? It’s a common occurrence that people get the training and tick in the box on their CV they need and then leave – obviously this isn’t ideal.
it; a competitive salary is always going to be a large contributing factor as
to how employers obtain and retain employees, but the number of zeros on that
payslip isn’t everything nowadays. Something that every employer wants to avoid
in this situation is a wage war, which is completely understandable. Your work
force is the forefront of your organisation, they are your brand ambassadors. You
need them to be talking about how great their experience is
with your company and to tell their compelling stories.
Ask your employees what they value in a job, in addition to the predictable salary comment, you’ll also generate discussion around what they would really appreciate. Offer people choice, do they need job security above anything else? Flexible working hours? Progression in the work place? Is their work environment making them happy? How you do business, your values and how you treat employees really matters, so delivering what your employees want from you in the most pragmatic way is important. Position yourself to show you care, this will mitigate the risk of people leaving the company or the boss.
Incentivising the role – we asked TruckNet, the largest forum for truck drivers, what was their most used app. Netflix came out on top. Therefore, offering to pay for their Netflix account is a useful incentive, it is a tool that can be pulled on when they are on their breaks as an additional comfort – simple, but it shows you care.
If you’d like to discuss securing and retaining talent with us further, or you want to share your thoughts about a topic we haven’t covered here, please do get in contact. We’d love to hear form you!
Apprenticeship Week! It may seem unusual for an End-Point Assessment
Organisation to want to talk about “what apprenticeships mean for them”,
considering our interaction with apprentices is minimal in comparison to
training providers and employers. However, we’d like to elaborate on how
apprenticeships are the key to improving and supporting the logistics sector we
care so much about!
The sector is
undergoing unprecedented change globally and there are a number of challenges
that lie ahead. With the talent pool diminishing, an over reliance on EU labour
– not to mention the problems Brexit poses. The apprenticeship levy can act as
a structured and incentivised toolkit for the sector. There has never been a
more prominent time to upskill our workforce in a way employer’s actually need in
order to help mitigate some of these issues. Apprenticeships offer the
logistics industry a dynamic and lean way to plug the vital skills gap and
present a rich and viable career path within a sector that still isn’t really acknowledged in its own right.
It’s not all about the sector specialist apprenticeships
though. It’s evident that emerging technologies such as Virtual Reality (VR) and
Augmented Reality (AR) are making waves in the sector. It is these technologies
that are modernising the sector, with the likes of self-driving vehicles and
automated warehouses. The sector should be looking to the technology and
engineering based apprenticeships to leverage across emerging talent and best
practices that would be fundamentally sector agnostic.
How do we fit in?
Our mission is to raise awareness and promote career
opportunities in the logistics, supply chain and distribution industries. We
want to help build a pipeline of talented, subject matter experts to enter the sector
and increase the attractiveness of careers within. We are working to achieve
this through our interactive and immersive EPA portal that helps facilitate the
apprentices learning experience. We’re also shouting proudly about the
fantastic career opportunities the sector presents and utilising our
consultancy expertise to work in a collaborative partnership with employers and
So it’s time
to take action, invest in future talent, take on an apprentice! Not sure how to
best utilise your levy pot? or which apprenticeship would best suit your
organisations requirements? Talk to one of our customer focused team members
for your very own innovative solution!
6th March 2019 Tweet or Email us – we’d love to hear
David Coombes: Managing Director of Skills for Logistics
The Route Panel is a carefully selected team of sector specialists with the occupational experience and capability to review and advise on new Apprenticeship Standards, assessment plans and funding levels. Together, we are the employer voice of the Transport and Logistics sector, bringing our expertise and knowledge to the work of the Institute.
with the Institute, its board and committees, the Panel supports the creation
of new apprenticeship opportunities and promotes occupations in transport and
logistics – addressing the challenges and identifying both current and future
skills gaps. It’s really about the flow of accurate, specialist information. We
represent the needs of employers and ensure Apprenticeship Standards are fit
for purpose. Meeting the needs of employers and being clear, accessible,
affordable and achievable for apprentices, training providers and End-Point
take this responsibility very seriously at Skills for Logistics (SFL). If the
logistics industry is to rise to the endemic recruitment and retention
challenges, it needs top quality apprentices.
We have in-depth knowledge of the industry, working closely at the coal
face of recruitment, training and skill issues. We therefore have a
comprehensive understanding of skills and training which should be made
available to the logistics industry.
this is an opportunity for me to give something back to an industry that has
supported me throughout my career. I’m passionate about the skills agenda – so
being part of the Institute for Apprenticeships allows me to take
responsibility and truly promote and increase opportunities in logistics for
the next generation.
If you’d like to get in touch to discuss any thoughts, ideas or concerns you have about apprenticeship standards or the levy then please get in touch. It would be great to hear from you.
David Coombes: Managing Director of Skills for Logistics
If you weren’t already aware, on Monday 29th
October, the Treasury announced that the 10% fee small businesses must pay when
taking on apprentices will be halved. The news was received positively by the
logistics sector. I spoke to our Managing Director, David Coombes, to get his
thoughts on the news.
What impact do you think this reduction in fees will have on apprenticeships?
Firstly, we are delighted that the chancellor has
chosen to reduce the cost of apprenticeship training for non-levy payers, with
the government now committing to paying a contribution of 95% of the apprenticeship
fee and the employer paying the remaining 5%. This is a major and positive
shift which the industry has been pushing hard for since the levy has been
introduced. This should enable training providers to work closely with smaller
businesses to increase the number of apprenticeships on offer.
What impact will this have for the logistics sector?
Well, we have seen less
than 10% of logistics businesses take on apprentices since the levy was
introduced, it’s certainly going to encourage non-levy payers to start thinking
about the real value they can gain from apprenticeships. I’m sure there will be
a big change in encouraging smaller business to take on apprentices now.
What are your thoughts
on the Treasury backtracking on the start date for the apprenticeship fee cut
which was set to be April 2019?
I don’t understand why this has happened, the change
should really be made at the start of a new financial year. April 2019 is the
best possible time and with that being the mark of two years into the levy, it
sends the right message. By talking about the reduction and subsequently not
giving an actual date of when this will take effect, it sends mixed messages.
Spreading uncertainty in this way is bad for development.
Do you think a
consequence of a rumoured later start would incentivise employers to delay
their apprenticeship recruitment?
By April 2019 it will be two years since the levy
started. The incentive is very much to use up the pot before the end of the two
years. Providing it isn’t later than the new financial year, I’m hopeful it
won’t have a major impact.
As you’ve mentioned, by
April 2019, it’ll be two years since the levy came into effect, do you think
that this is too soon to make changes whilst it’s still very much in its infancy?
That’s been a large part of the argument to not make
the change, but actually I think two years is within a good time frame. We
can’t wait any longer for this change, otherwise, all the government’s targets
will be missed, and the opportunity will pass. We’ve seen the slow take-up –
there needs to be other incentives to improve apprenticeship starts.
What else do you think
the government could be doing to incentivise people to be taking up the
The apprenticeship levy is a blunt tool. Within the
pot, there should be a budget for attraction or the option to spend on advice
and support as there is still a lot of confusion around what the best
apprenticeships are for different businesses.
Any other thoughts?
I think in the current economic climate, any
additional cost to businesses is tough, but the value an organisation receives
from well-trained employees can be a life-saver. It reduces staff turnover and
increases productivity, meaning less waste and an improvement in job
It was great to hear David’s thoughts, but what about
you? We’d love to hear your views on this. What does this reduction in fee mean
for you? Whatever your thoughts, we’d love to have a chat – Email
or Tweet us now!