The ‘Earn as you learn’ Logistics Associate Apprenticeship (LAA) launched by the Technological University Dublin City Campus in September 2018 offers career and education options for school leavers and mature students who prefer paid, on-the-job training while studying for a qualification over a full-time college course. In addition, it is aimed at existing employees who wish to advance in their careers.
It has played a crucial role in attracting and developing new talent and helping to surmount the recruitment difficulties that the sector has been experiencing in recent years.
The apprenticeship idea
Apprenticeships are a programme of structured education and training that alternate learning in the workplace with learning at a third-level education provider or training centre.
The engagement of industry and its professional bodies is the key to the apprenticeship’s success.
The supply chain is changing at a pace with technological advancements and climate developments that demand change relative to how we worked in the past.
It is an exciting time, and this apprenticeship programme is a valuable option for all employers in their quest to remain viable into the future. The success of the programme can be determined by the fact that nearly 80 employers have taken part in the programme, representing every link in the supply chain, from manufacturing to warehouse and distribution, as well as shipping and freight forwarding. There have been 225 apprentices enrolled on the programme since its start in 2018.
The LAA has demonstrated that, by offering structured training and qualifications on the National Framework of Qualifications, you can attract new talent into the organization and the industry.
In addition, it provides benefits for employers as workforce skills are enhanced and employee loyalty is increased in line with the development of improved career progression opportunities. Employers who hire apprentices will receive a Ä2,000 annual payment per apprentice based on a new state grant.
As of November 2021, apprenticeships and further education have been listed as an alternative route to third-level education on the newly reformed college entry system Central Applications Office (CAO) website. Students now have access to the information and guidance on the rapidly expanding opportunities of apprenticeships and PLC Post Leaving Certificate courses through one single portal.
Anna Gorecka, Project Manager for the Logistics Associate Apprenticeship said: ‘’whilst apprenticeship programmes will not compete against higher education programmes on the points system, having the logistics associate apprenticeship on the CAO application form will create awareness and offers a validity of the programme’’.
This is a magnificent opportunity to use the ‘Logistics Associate Apprenticeship’ as an excuse to help all aforementioned groups understand more clearly what logistics is, what the supply chain is, and the diverse type of career opportunities there are in our industry.
How does the logistics apprenticeship work?
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 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 professional employment.
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 project work the apprentices complete a variety of industry modules developed by the LAA consortium throughout programme, which are then assessed to achieve certification.
For those seeking a career in this field, an apprenticeship is undoubtedly an attractive option. The apprentice gets an overview of the profession, gains practical work experience, and acquires the necessary qualifications while earning a salary.
Industry Testimonial: ATC Computer Transport & Logistics, Citywest Business Campus, Dublin
ATC has been a strong supporter of the Logistics Associate Apprenticeship since its launch in September 2018, says Adrian Byrne, the company’s Director.
“We put a great emphasis on carving out careers for our employees here in ATC, not just a job. For this reason, the Logistics Associate Apprenticeship is a welcomed addition to our business, and we are committed to nurturing our participants with the highest standard of training to ensure the best possible outcome.
“We see the programme as a perfect entry point into our industry, and an excellent opportunity for young apprentices to both upskill and gain a 3rd level academic qualification which is a launch pad for further career development
To us, the blended learning approach of the LAA programme makes complete sense, as we see our apprentices gain valuable work experience on the job while learning the theory behind industry practices in a classroom environment. The programme also provides a great foundation to promote the logistics industry to a new generation.
We are very proud to support this industry-leading initiative and we look forward to its continued success.’’