Beverley Bell

CILT’s new President outlines challenges at Inauguration Lunch

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport’s Annual President’s Inauguration Lunch, Beverley Bell FCILT, Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain and CILT’s new President in the UK, put forward the question: ‘Why don’t people want to work in our industry?’

An attentive audience of almost 90 senior members and special guests heard Ms Bell talk about the need to challenge stereotypes, raise the profile and address the skills gap in the logistics and transport profession.

Addressing the need to improve and raise the profile of the logistics and transport industry in order to attract more young people to join the profession, Beverley Bell spoke of a need to challenge the stereotypes placed on the industry, with particular reference to the ‘typical lorry driver image’, and that more should be done to champion the great work being done every day.

In highlighting the fact that the supply chain, transport and logistics industry contributes £92 billion to the UK economy each year, CILT’s new President further reiterated the disproportionality of the industry’s contribution to the economy and society at large in comparison to the profile and recognition the industry receives.

Ms Bell acknowledged that there is more to be done as an industry to champion those out there in the field who are doing the ‘day job’.  Besides emphasising that the industry should celebrate the successes it achieves every day, she stated that the industry’s young people are the ‘heroes’ and demanded that we all do more to recognise and develop that.

The themes of her Presidency were also outlined as:

  • The skills gap – by 2020 the logistics and transport industry will need another 1.2 million workers and the industry must work harder in order to recruit such a significant increase in workforce
  • Training – Ms Bell demanded that the industry ‘must invest in our employees’ and told guests that the industry’s record of training people was low and that this needs to be addressed
  • Revenue – the Institute must increase membership as well as increase training services.  She expressed that CILT is a ‘fantastic organisation’ and should do more to sell itself.