The British International Freight Association’s (BIFA) Young Forwarder Network has been named as a finalist in this year’s Talent in Logistics Awards in the Collaboration in People Development category.
Carl Hobbis, BIFA’s training development manager says: “We are absolutely delighted that we made the finalists’ shortlist, although we face some strong competition from some blue-chip freight industry brands that have entered this category.”
BIFA’s Young Forwarder Network (YFN) was launched in March 2019 to provide a platform for those new to the industry to develop their knowledge and professional skills, within a sociable environment.
The YFN enables participants to enhance their career prospects by providing opportunities to support their professional development through access to exclusive events, boosting knowledge, sharing skills, advice and experiences from industry professionals and providing visits to places of industry interest.
In the first year, the YFN held more than 20 events, which have carried on in a virtual format since the lockdown commenced, and welcomed over 400 individual participants.
Hobbis adds: “From the lockdown caused by Covid-19, the YFN was re-launched online and holds virtual events every two weeks for one hour. In June, it had a record attendance at any YFN event, live or digital, with 71 attending a virtual port tour of DP World London Gateway.
“When we launched the YFN, there were no professional networking groups for young people within the freight forwarding sector.
“The judges recognised that the YFN enables participants to build-up their own professional network and develop their skill sets in many ways, whilst participating in events that are fresh, interactive, engaging and sociable.”
YFN members have an influence on its direction , with local committees helping to organise events both in advance and on the day. This experience enables them to develop many skills at an early stage within their careers.
Within the structure of the YFN, employer governors are appointed in each region, to provide support and guidance. One of them, Ian Mallon, managing director of Neon Freight said:“The YFN is a fantastic initiative for the future talent of the freight and logistics industry.
“For years, the industry has perhaps suffered from an inconsistent funnel of future recruits, and this helps to ensure new starters are given opportunities to learn new skills, and try out networking for the first time.
“I am proud that this initiative has been recognised by the judges of the Talent in Logistics awards and hope that it will be named winner of the category when the winners are revealed at the annual awards event, which will take place online on the evening of October 1, 2020.