BIFA joins calls to minister for support on skills shortage Readers will be well aware of the recruitment issues faced by the logistics industry over a number of years, which have been exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19 and the UK’s exit from the EU, resulting in thousands of logistics workers choosing to return permanently to their home nations. In an attempt to highlight and seek solutions to the problems, BIFA participated in a joint letter sent to Minister for Immigration, Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, in December 2022. This highlighted the industry’s critical labour shortage ahead of the upcoming Shortage Occupation List (SOL) review. Other signatories to the letter were UKWA, Logistics UK, Chemical Business Association, Cold Chain Federation and RTITB. Together, the signatories would like to see government add forklift drivers, HGV drivers – of which there is an estimated shortage of
Business Leaders – save the date
As part of his plans to meet the BIFA Members and to continue developing a two-way dialogue, Director General Steve Parker will be holding a Business Leaders
meeting on Thursday 20 April. As the February issue of BIFAlink went to press, plans for the meeting were being drawn up with an informative agenda and an
iconic venue being high on the list of jobs to do. CEOs and similar business leaders will be identified and invitations sent out later this month with further information.
60,000 – and warehouse operatives to the Shortage
£7 million tech fund launched to help decarbonise freight
Occupation List in relation to the Skilled Worker Visa, as well as ensuring that mechanics remain on the list. Initiatives such as Generation Logistics seek to recruit home- grown talent to roles across the industry. However, the correct training takes time and a short to medium-term labour boost is essential.
The UK government has launched a new fund to help small to medium-sized businesses develop greener and more efficient solutions for freight. The Future of Freight plan, published in 2022, included details of a Freight Innovation Fund (FIF) to be distributed to up to 36 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They will then work with industry- leading companies to develop innovations to make freight more efficient, resilient and greener, such as ways to improve how freight moves between rail, road and maritime transport. Further details of the £7 million fund were released in early January and include: • New funding to scale up and roll out innovative tech across the industry to decarbonise freight and improve transport links • £7 million over three years to develop ways to make it easier to move freight from one mode of transport
to another and improve journey times and predictability
• New solutions that could help clean our air, reduce traffic, create UK jobs and allow people to get their packages and goods more quickly The government’s Future of Freight plan is the first- ever cross-modal and cross-government plan for the UK freight transport sector and identifies five
Don’t keep it to yourself
Not your copy of BIFAlink? Register for your own copy by contacting Sarah Milton in membership firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bifa.org/bifalink for a digital version. BIFAlink is the magazine of the British International Freight Association and is distributed free to Members.
priorities for the freight sector, including being cost-efficient, reliable, resilient, environmentally sustainable, and valued by society.
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