The Logistics Associate Apprenticeship (LAA) is Ireland’s first logistics apprenticeship for the freight distribution and logistics sector developed and led by industry experts and professional representative bodies aimed at addressing the skills gap in the industry. The apprenticeship has played a key role in helping to grow and develop talent and overcome the recruitment difficulties the sector has been facing in recent years by attracting new entrants as well as providing career progression opportunities for existing staff. From the establishment of the apprenticeship in September 2018, it has gone from strength to strength and gained strong support from the industry with a year on year increase in the number of employers offering logistics apprenticeship roles. Initially, 27 apprentices commenced
the journey on the programme with 17 employers on board, and since then 120 apprentices have been enrolled with 60 companies representing the shipping, freight forwarding, distribution, transport, and manufacturing sectors have
become SOLAS approved Logistics Apprenticeship Employers. The programme has become the perfect point of entry into the sector not only for school graduates but also for those who are seeking to change a career or mature students. For existing employees, it is an avenue for progression into managerial roles.
The LAA is a two-year programme providing the academic education and practical on the job training across the Logistics industries. Apprentices enter a contract of 2 years duration, where they will work on a full time basis with an employer while being paid a salary, and spend one day a week with TU Dublin or MTU in Cork (former CIT) for their academic studies. Successful completion of this programme will lead to a QQI Level 6 Award on the NFQ – Higher Certificate in Logistics. From that point, there are many routes of progression into Level 7 and even Level 8 degree courses which is one of many key strengths of this programme. Throughout the apprenticeship journey, Apprentices acquire the knowledge, skills and competencies to carry out the core tasks and responsibilities within the logistics sector and upon completion of the programme are fully equipped to progress into employment. Gaining an overview of the profession, valuable work experience and relevant qualification while being paid a salary at the same is undoubtedly an attractive option for many to enter the profession via the apprenticeship path. As part of the programme apprentices complete a work-based project in year 2, which will help them to develop their analytical and problem-solving skills, and which will also directly benefit the employing organisations. In addition to projectwork the apprentices complete a variety of industry modules developed by the LAA consortium throughout programme, which are then assessed to achieve certification. Apprentices are assigned a workbased mentor who will use their specific organisational and industry knowledge & expertise to guide and support the apprentice, helping them to navigate corporate culture and gain an understanding of their role and duties in the organisation.
The freight distribution and logistics sector is the backbone of international trade and economy and offers a broad range of career paths. There are many diverse office-based roles associated with coordinating the movement of goods in a logistics company including the planning and organising the method of transportation. For more information please visit www.laa.ie or contact Anna Gorecka on 01 8447516 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Little public knowledge of how the industry operates or of associated rewarding careers is one of the main reasons why many do not consider it as a career choice. The LAA programme has started changing that perception, a lot of time and effort has been invested into promoting the sector to the younger generation by continued engagement with Career Guidance Professionals at secondary schools across the country, via media campaigns and career related events. The COVID19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to many business sectors in Ireland but has highlighted the importance of the sector and the supply chain workers to our society who kept the essential retail shops stocked, delivering lifesaving medical equipment and PPE gear to the Healthcare workers and those in need across the globe. The sector has been tested in many ways during these difficult times but has successfully overcome the challenges and proved how resilience and agile it is. In 2020 Ireland welcomed its first group of Logistics Apprenticeship graduates and this new generation of the industry experts will play a crucial part in shaping the future of the sector in Ireland.