Members of our sector action group for logistics had a recent meeting at Hardie Park, in Stanford-le-Hope, to learn about the 'Friends of Hardie Park' project. Members of the group attended this meeting to have a greater understanding of existing community schemes that could be used as the basis for a local logistics model that could support skills and opportunities in the industry.
Friends of Hardie Park are a volunteer-based community group originally set up to improve the environment and play space within Hardie Park (a public open space). This community group has been very successful and has moved forward to develop a number of learning based initiatives to support its local community.
Friends of Hardie Park have created a Facebook page as a key method of communication to the local community. An on-site classroom enables students to attend an afterschool Tech Club, which has been set up to develop students' computer skills and inspires students to engage with a range of technological processes such as programming and computer algorithms.
Friends of Hardie Park are also supporting with a 12 week volunteer programme for out of work adults which helps to build confidence and work experience. Members of the sector action group are discussing whether this model could form part of an initiative whereby local employers could support volunteers through offers of work experience, inductions and potential offers of employment.
Research from our Skills Evidence Base shows that in the logistics sector, over 8,200 job vacancies were posted across Essex in 2016. Despite major logistics developments set to come to Essex (such as international employers, Amazon, opening a new 550,000sq. ft. fulfilment centre), there are still critical skills barriers that are preventing the sector from strong growth.
Whilst other intitiatives are being considered, it is clear that Friends of Hardie Park are having a valuable impact on its local community and it is hoped that members of the sector action group can work in partnership with this local community group.
For any local employers looking to be part of our logistics sector action group, or if you have any further questions about the group, please feel free to e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org