With work on the eagerly anticipated London Gateway Logistics Park well underway, the development of the logistics sector is high on Essex’s agenda, bringing the county’s educational establishments hand-in-hand with industry to build a hub of skilled, logistics talent.
At two times the size of the financial City of London  and expected to created 27,000 jobs , it’s no wonder the development of the London Gateway Logistics Park in Essex has sparked a wave of workforce development.
Businesses within the sector are working closely with the region’s further and higher education providers to create courses and qualifications that match the skills required to work in the industry, and further strengthen Essex’s offering to businesses looking to invest in the area.
Investing in the future…
Leading the way in logistics skills development is South Essex College, which has recently invested £45million to create a new Thurrock Campus on the doorstep of the London Gateway site.
The college has introduced new courses to be delivered at the campus from September 2015, including the Business, Logistics and Supply Chain BTEC Level 3 Diploma, which, according to Mark Bentley, Logistics Development Manager at the college, will “springboard anybody who wants a career…into logistics.” 
The diploma covers a variety of topics, from health and safety to stock management, communications technology, transport systems and the environment, equipping students with the necessary skills to work in the business of logistics, today.
Essex Business School also offers sector-specific postgraduate courses, covering topics such as Supply Chains and Logistics – Technology and Management, and Global Supply Chain and Operations Management.
The former provides students with insights into the uses of modern technology in the industry, while the latter provides learners with the skills to ‘more effectively align their supply with the demand for their products and services in global environment’. 
Working in partnership with industry…
The benefits for businesses that offer apprenticeships and work closely with further education providers are well documented, with companies reporting increased productivity, improved business performance and fewer skill gaps. 
South Essex College is harnessing these benefits and ensuring its courses meet industry demand by offering apprenticeships in logistics operations and management, allowing students to ‘see the theoretical processes live…at the coalface of logistics’ , according to Mark Bentley.
The work-based Advanced Apprenticeship in Logistics Operations Management, for example, allows students to gain a level three certificate in logistics operations while working 30-hours-per-week in the industry.
For employers in the area, this means that a continuous stream of skilled, cost-effective workers is available, helping businesses to develop the specialist skills required to ‘keep pace with the latest technology and working practices’  in the sector.
A gateway to success…
Hailed as a ‘game changer’  there’s no doubt the London Gateway development has helped to put Essex firmly on the map, and redefined the future of the UK’s port and logistics industry. With its state-of-the-art infrastructure, proximity to London and excellent nationwide road and rail connections, the site, in combination with Essex’s wider ports and logistics infrastructure, is establish the county firmly as a major hub for international trade. 
Essex’s commitment to working with businesses and developing the skills required by the port and logistics sector only enhances these benefits even further, futureproofing the industry and putting the county on the map as an unrivalled port of call for investment.
FIND OUT MORE
Contact INVEST Essex to find out more about the advantages of UK Multimodal Gateway: Essex for your logistics or distribution operation.
 London Gateway Visualisation Video - http://www.londongateway.com/media-page/videos/
 Mark Bentley ‘About the Course’ video - http://www.southessex.ac.uk/course/business-logistics-and-supply-chain-level-3-diploma
 Global Supply Chain and Operations Management – Course description: https://www.essex.ac.uk/modules/Default.aspx?coursecode=BE275&level=7&period=AU
 What are the business benefits? - http://www.southessex.ac.uk/course/advanced-apprenticeship-logistics-operations-management-level-3-diploma
 The Game Changer – London Gateway Logistics Park: http://www.londongateway.com/media/cms_page_media/36/The%20Game%20Changer.pdf