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Degree course aims to answer logistics sector’s call for talent

A NEW degree course at the University of Northampton aims to provide qualified workers to meet the logistics sector’s booming demand for talent.

The BSc in Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chain Management will welcome its first students in September. They will study the importance of logistics to global trade, focusing on sustainability, project management, procurement and business law.

Jobs in the logistics sector are growing at nearly twice the rate of all other sectors. Over the past decade, the number has risen by 26% compared to by 14% across the UK economy as a whole.

The sector has become increasingly professionalised and logistics firms are making decisions on major investments based on the skills available around potential development sites, said Andrew Gough, UoN’s senior lecturer in operations management.

As a result logistics employers require a growing range of professional services, from engineers to human resources, from data scientists to ecologists. The sector is forecast to grow by more than 50% in the next 20 years, Mr Gough added.

“It is not an opportunity that’s spoken about a great deal in schools but, with wages being on average £4,900 higher compared to other sectors, we need to change the narrative,” he said.

The university has worked with specialist logistics developer Newlands Developments to create a module for second-year students. Associate planning director Edward Pigott, who worked on the module with Mr Gough and Newlands planning director Ben Taylor, said Northampton is in the ‘Golden Triangle’ for logistics where there is an almost unlimited demand for warehouse floorspace.

“The industry has been fighting against the perception that it is all trucks and sheds for a very long time and it could not be further from the truth,” he added. “This is rather critical national infrastructure that enables people to live their daily lives.

“Northamptonshire is strategically placed and we think, by partnering with the university, those looking to invest will choose to do so here and create the high-quality jobs the region needs to keep growing.”

To find out more, visit the UoN webpage on Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chain Management BSc.

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