Apprentices Playing a Key Role in Logistics Company’s Growth Plans

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The directors of awarding-winning Pontypool supply chain management company Freight Logistics Solutions (FLS) made an apprenticeship programme a key part of its business plan before launching three years ago.

The company, which specialises in global freight transport solutions over road, sea and air, was launched as a reaction to Brexit, the UK driver shortage and growing demand for logistics sector support.

The self-funded business, which is seeking Investors in People accreditation, has grown from three directors to 30 employees, including transport planners, sales, marketing and operational staff. It plans to double both turnover and staff in the next five years.

Now FLS has been shortlisted for the Small Employer of the Year Award at next month’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, the annual celebration of outstanding achievement in training and apprenticeships.

Thirty-four finalists in a dozen categories are in the running for the prestigious awards which will be presented at a high-profile ceremony at the new International Convention Centre Wales, Newport on October 24.

The awards showcase the successes of the best learners, employers, tutors and assessors in Wales who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeship and Apprenticeship programmes.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru has Openreach, the UK’s digital network business, as its premier sponsor this year. The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

FLS has recruited seven apprentices who are undertaking an Apprenticeship in Business Administration delivered by Torfaen Training. The apprenticeship is supplemented by an in-house training programme in logistics supply chain management.

By making a commitment to apprenticeships, the company hopes to build strong employee loyalty, thereby retaining highly skilled, satisfied staff.

“The apprenticeship programme was acknowledged as an important component of our original business start-up plan,” said Managing Director Ieuan Rosser, who recruits apprentices based on their potential.

“We have found that apprentices have great energy, knowledge and bring a good vibrancy and fresh ideas to the workplace. They develop fast within our high growth environment and very quickly become vital to the day-to-day operation of the business.

“FLS has experienced large volume growth in the first three years of trading, resulting in the business winning numerous start-up awards. The delivery of this growth, our service standards and sales strategies would not have been achievable without the apprenticeship programme.”

Nichole Stanley, a Torfaen Training Account Manager, said:

“FLS delivers excellent internal training to broaden the apprentices’ specialist skills in their sector in conjunction with working towards their qualifications. It is a truly excellent environment for progression.”

Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ken Skates, congratulated FLS and all the other shortlisted finalists.

“Our Welsh Government’s Apprenticeship and Traineeship programmes are helping increasing numbers of people to gain the skills and experience that we know businesses across all sectors of the economy in Wales really need,” he said.

“The Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate and showcase the achievements of everyone involved in those programmes from our star apprentices and employers, to learning providers and trainees.”