Cumbria Crack

Logistical training solutions to meet employer needs

Tony Higgins from SP Training (photo Stuart Walker)

[A] Cumbrian training company is working with Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership to ensure more local people can obtain relevant qualifications to develop careers in the county’s logistics sector.

Carlisle based SP Training has worked with a range of clients in the logistics industry, including local operators like Wm Armstrong, Tyson H Burridge and Carlisle Airport, through to national names like Stobart Group and Yodel.

The logistics sector in Cumbria is widely seen as an industry with significant growth potential, and the firm is helping the LEP drive forward the skills agenda as a key member of the county’s logistics employer sector panel, part of the £8.5m European Social Fund project, The Edge.

The logistics sector panel is one of eight employer panels established through Cumbria LEP to look at skills needs across industry.  SP Training is seen as leader in its field in this regard, from recruitment through logistics based apprenticeships through to upskilling of clients’ existing employees.

Located on Carlisle Airport Business Park and with a workforce of over 30 training specialists operating countrywide, SP Training encourages its staff to deliver bespoke training solutions and add value by helping clients become more profitable.

It recently undertook a project with Wm Armstrong to implement a ‘safe and fuel efficient’ driving scheme across the haulier’s fleet, with the specific aim of driving down fuel costs which is a key issue for the industry.

“A key part of our service is to support businesses to drive down operating costs through development of their staff,” explains SP Training managing director, Tony Higgins.

“Skills development and tailoring training provision to employers’ needs is a key part of that.  If you can directly address a training gap and provide a solution, the chances are that it will have a positive effect on your bottom line.  Our aim is to always look at a client’s business needs and implement training interventions to help make them more profitable.

“There are jobs to be filled in the logistics sector in Cumbria – it’s an important industry here – but like other sectors, there are skills gaps in the workforce which we are aiming to remedy with a range of training provision and qualifications tailored for the industry.  There is a lot of potential work and employment opportunities, especially for young people.

“Logistics apprenticeships are a big recruitment tool for home grown talent and are helping to address these skills shortages, as well as the age demographic which tends to be at the higher end.”

Craig Ivison – Head of Employment & Skills at Cumbria LEP

Craig Ivison, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership’s Head of Employability and Skills, adds: “Logistics is a growth sector for the Cumbrian economy, and the contribution of our vibrant skills delivery partners to the sector will help us to develop a curriculum of qualifications and skills and training provision fit for the needs of business.

“Nationally there are estimated to be 58,000 driver vacancies and a significantly ageing driver workforce, so the work of the logistics sector panel here in Cumbria to improve technical skills, workforce development and recruitment in this area is an important response to these issues.”

For further information about Cumbria LEP, please visit

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