A fresh approach to tackling manufacturing’s skills gaps

Posted on 20 Dec 2011

SCALA, a supply chain and logistics consultant, has introduced a scheme called Young Fresh Connection to improve the links between schools and the logistics industry.

SCALA developed the programme in response to concerns that the industry is expressing a shortfall of young supply chain professionals.

The programme is linked to, and supported by, the Learning CIC, a not-for-profit organisation that work with schools across Yorkshire providing “out of school” learning programmes.

John Perry, SCALA’s managing director said: “UK youth unemployment is at a record high and there are some world class career opportunities in the supply chain industry. We need to raise the profile of supply chain and logistics in the UK and let young people know of all the exciting prospects that are out there.”

The Huddersfield-based company teamed up with the University of Huddersfield to pilot an interactive workshop at the last Friday (16th Dec) with students from Rastrick High School, West Yorkshire.

The students, who study a supply chain module as part of their BTEC L3 Business Studies course, were engaged in a day long programme, which included an online simulation battle to turn around the fortunes of a struggling fruit juice manufacturer by the name of The Fresh Connection.

Rebecca Sohotha, subject leader for economics, business and enterprise at Rastrick School commented: “Our day at the university was fantastic, and the lecturers really opened our eyes to the wealth of job opportunities available within the supply chain and logistics fields.”

Ms Sohotha continued: “Young Fresh Connection proved to be a dynamic simulation that our students got their teeth into and were able to see the impact of their individual decision making on the success of their team outcomes.”

SCALA is in its third year of running the Fresh Connection simulation in the UK and will kick off its annual competition in March 2012,  with some of the biggest corporations across the UK involved.

Following a series of initiatives to increase the numbers of young people entering manufacturing, via STEM subject promotion and enhancing employer – schools relationships, The Manufacturer has investigated the breadth of education engagement initiatives in the manufacturing space for January’s edition.

With all of the initiatives on going around the country, there is a need for them to be smarter in the way they communicate with one another.