Teesside-based freight logistics specialist AV Dawson has appointed youngster Georgia Canham as it aims to tackle an alarming skills shortfall.
Georgia, aged 19, a former student at SRC Bede College in Billingham, joins AV Dawson as an accountancy (AAT) apprentice within its finance team, based on its 100-acre freight handling facility on Teesport in Middlesbrough.
At present, the UK logistics industry requires 1.2m new recruits by 2020. The sector is crying out for talent to replace the 80% that are projected to leave within the next five years.
The appointment is part of a new partnership with Middlesbrough College to provide more opportunities for young people including work placements and apprenticeship opportunities.
Georgia said: “I’ve lived in Teesside all my life but until I started my apprenticeship here, I just wasn’t aware of all the different businesses and jobs available in the local area.
“I think a lot of people think if you want to do finance you have to work in an accountants. I am part of a finance team at AV Dawson, which gives me the opportunity to work with lots of different people within the team.
“I’m really excited to do my apprenticeship and develop my career here. I had seen AV Dawson’s trucks around the region but hadn’t realised all of the areas it works in and all the different opportunities available.
“I’m keen to learn more about the business, particularly the shipping side as we regularly have large ships arriving on the quayside just behind the office I work in.”
Whilst there is a national lorry driver shortage, businesses like AV Dawson need a broader range of roles as the business grows across its various divisions.
HR manager Louise Croce added: “Haulage is just one part of our business, we also have divisions for rail freight services, port and sea operations and warehousing and storage.
“We need to ensure we have a sustainable workforce development programme to support each of these areas of the business and all the supporting roles such as finance, HR and marketing.
“It’s therefore really important for us to raise awareness of opportunities within the logistics sector and within AV Dawson if we are to attract new talent.”