MARK Bentley, the course leader for the new Logistics and Business course at South Essex College, is on a mission, a mission to showcase how the business of logistics and supply chain is the next big employer for Essex.
And he will be taking to the internet to help spread the word and answer questions about the course with a live webchat on Wednesday 7 May, between 11am – 1pm. Visit www.southessex.ac.uk\webchat for further details or questions can be posted on Twitter, using #SECLogistics.
With 25 years experience in the world of logistics he is the perfect person to ‘deliver’ the new Logistics and Business Level 3 Diploma at the new £45 million Thurrock Campus when it opens its doors this September.
But what is logistics? It’s about moving goods by boat, plane, trains and automobiles, storing and distributing them effectively.
With the UK playing its part in leading the way in logistics and supply chain, the College is now getting in on the action.
Mark said: “Put simply, this new course will help get your career from point A to point B. It’s an area of massive growth across Essex, not just Thurrock but Basildon and beyond, with the opening of DP World and the positive ripple effect that will have on the local economy, which is why we are running this course.
“We need to get the next generation of logisticians ready to take full advantage of these opportunities that are set to put Essex on the logistics map.”
And with only 24 places on his course, Mark’s already getting applications from Essex but also further afield in Europe. Mark added: “I’ve just interviewed one potential student over Skype in Belgium, so the word is really getting out about the course, not just locally, but across Europe.”
Which is quite apt as Mark sees a career in logistics as an opportunity to travel the world. He continued: “Students choosing to study our Logistics and Business course will not just get a fascinating insight but also the possibility of a passport to success as, with logistics, the world is your oyster.
And with the practical hustle and bustle world of logistics in Essex, the course won’t just be taught behind a desk, it will also be very much about gaining experience and seeing it all happen on the shop floor.
Mark added: “This isn’t what I call a ‘chalk and talk’ course, it’s not just about being in the classroom, it’s very much an authentic learning experience in that the students will have the opportunity to go out into industry and actually see some of theoretical processes and teachings in action in the workplace. For me, it’s about bringing learning to life.”
And that’s only been made possible by the great links that the College has made with local companies such as Spinnaker Consulting Ltd, based in Leigh-on-Sea. Spinnaker are a maritime organisation that specialise in recruitment. They are probably the leading shipping and recruitment company, worldwide, and were really keen to get involved with South Essex College as they saw the opportunity for them to give something back and help in shaping the next generation of maritime and shipping professionals.
Its Chairman, Phil Parry, said: “We’re very happy to be working with the College and feel very strongly that education in this industry is the key to taking it forward. It’s an infectious, interesting and global industry that’s not very well known to people at school and people make very good careers in it and make good money.
“There are a lot of developments in logistics in Essex, in terms of ports and the wider transport links that the College is now supporting, so, thumbs up to them and we are very happy to be supporting this course.”
Other companies the Logistics and Business course will be working with include AAH Pharmaceuticals, who have a £2.6 billion turnover. The Romford-based company have state of the art warehousing and really offer expertise and insight into what 21st century warehousing is all about, giving a real understanding of how important inventory, supply chain and stock management levels are to success.
Links have also been forged with Purfleet-based Canute, who are involved in just about every aspect of supply chain and logistics, which will be fantastic for students on the course.
Claridon Group is one of the leading freight transport companies in the area and Mark has also got that Stanford-le-Hope company on board, right on the doorstep of the port.
Mark added: “It’s great that local companies want to get involved and want to make a difference and see the value of what this new qualification can do, not just for their business but for the sector as a whole. This will ensure the next generation aren’t just willing but very much able to hit the ground running, and that’s what this course does.
“With local businesses getting involved they’ll be looking at the talented individuals on the course, so for some people the two year course could be seen as a two year job interview. There is a very real prospect of job interviews at the end of it.”
It’s hoped that this course will be a beacon of the economic growth in the local area and how providing education based around local employment needs really, for want of a better word, delivers for Essex.
Apply for the Logistics and Business Level 3 course here.