BIFAlink June 2022


BIFA Awards

Embracing new opportunities


In January, Matt Vick received a special recognition award in the BIFA 2021 Apprentice of the Year. Matt’s success proves the value of confident young freight forwarders to an industry in need of new blood

putting work into bringing people up and seeing them steadily improve. “I have also had to delegate and let go of wanting to do everything to help everyone,” Matt added. Another learning curve has arisen from his being appointed team leader aged 23, with team members in their mid-40s. “You have to learn how to have the respect and willingness of older team members to work under you,” he observed. Balance In addition to his apprenticeship, Matt has completed short courses on topics such as the new Customs Declaration Service and dangerous goods. Future courses that he has in mind include an AEO qualification. Right now though, he said: “I need more of a work-life balance for a while! I want to settle into where I am, while staying open to opportunities that might come up. I suspect I will stay in the industry for quite a long time. You have to roll with the punches and learn to embrace that – but it is never boring.” Seetec Outsource Training & Skills is a leading provider of innovative training, education and recruitment. Established in 2009 Seetec Outsource has delivered thousands of successful programmes to a range of small and large organisations nationwide and helped many people into employment. Seetec Outsource provides Apprenticeships and Traineeships on a range of subjects at various levels. In May 2016, Seetec Outsource Training & Skills became part of the Seetec Group. Seetec is one of the leading public and business service providers in the UK and Ireland. Established for over 30 years, Seetec has helped businesses to grow, communities to flourish and people from all walks of life to reach their full potential. from something of a glass-half-empty perspective, though. “For a start, Jebel Ali is one of only two ports in that region, whereas there is much more competition in the UK. “Plus, the UK does not have a huge export market, which you really need to benefit from freeports. So unless UK manufacturing shoots up in the next few years, we will not see much benefit.”

Originally, Matt Vick wanted to study history and build a career in politics as he was ambitious to make a difference in the world. But unsure whether university was the right choice for him, he took up an opportunity to work at Good Logistics. “The logistics industry is often forgotten, but it is a critical part of the world we all live in. I could really see myself being able to make changes for the better here,” he said. Starting at Good Logistics at the age of 19, the obvious advantage he could offer was his youth, with logistics suffering from the well-known problem of an ageing workforce. “No one of my age group was even considering the industry so I wanted to prove – as much to myself as to employers – that young freight forwarders can do as much as, if not more than those of more advanced age,” Matt said. “This is an industry that no one really knows exists; one thing I wanted to do was raise its profile through things like school visits. Covid has prevented me from doing this so far; the pandemic has, however, highlighted how vital our industry is.” Guinea pig Matt went straight into logistics as an office junior. He began work at Good Logistics in April 2018 – and the company put him onto the Freight Forwarding Specialist apprenticeship as soon as The pros and cons for freeports Matt has been researching how the introduction of Freeports in the UK could affect trade and logistics. For instance, he has been in contact with Jebel Ali Free Zone to find out how the industry there grew and changed when its status was similarly altered.

Matt Vick: enjoying the challenges

the qualification was launched in July of that year. “I was a guinea pig.” he said. And a successful one at that, having achieved a 92% Distinction in his apprenticeship. Matt’s progress has seen him taking on the roles of European Customs team leader (where he was solely responsible for preparing the entire office for Brexit) and, for a time, IT solutions analyst – before he was offered the position of deepsea team leader, where he has trained new staff while working to bring performance back up to pre-Covid levels. “I have enjoyed the challenges,” he said. “Training new staff is a skill I have worked hard to improve and I have had good results. I enjoy When BIFAlink spoke to him in early March, Matt said: “The change could bring more investment to the UK; or companies might be tempted by the suite of tax reliefs available to move from non-freeports to freeports, which could mean the government loses money. It is a bit nebulous because there are so many factors involved and the true impact of Brexit has been hidden by Covid.” Matt’s research has led him to see things


June 2022

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