The benefits of hiring an intern at your logistics company

10.05.2019

More logistics companies needed to provide internships in Bristol, Warrington, Leeds, Mansfield, Stockton on Tees, North Shields, Grimsby, Swadlincote, York, Sheffield and Hinckley as interest grows in the logistics sector.

Thanks to the continued success of the Think Logistics project, more students are learning about the logistics industry and the opportunities it offers, and are looking to gain first-hand experience within a logistics company through both paid internships and unpaid work placements.

Think Logistics is a not for profit initiative supported by more than 40 companies with many offering internships, but we are now at the stage where demand is outpacing supply, so we are calling on the industry to take responsibility for filling the skills gap our industry faces, take responsibility and join us to provide internships.

Think Logistics has been matching interns with employers for over five years. Virtually unheard of in the logistics sector before we started, both paid internships and unpaid work placements in our sector are now an annual event for many of our supporters as they realise the many benefits of internship programs.

Why the logistics sector needs to act

Most sectors in our economy provide paid internships and logistics is losing out to financial services, construction and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors. They realise the benefits of interns and the added value they bring to their companies. Like logistics, all sectors are feeling the effects of skills shortages and are taking responsibility to fill those by introducing young people to their businesses and planning for the future.

Traditionally the Logistics Industry has not been very good at promoting the wide variety of careers available and not only are we facing a shortage of drivers, but the experienced people that work in our operations and managerial roles are retiring with limited numbers of young people coming in to replace them.

But why hire interns? What are the true benefits of bringing interns on board?

We know from the growing number of interns we’ve placed, that the logistics companies involved have seen many benefits from the program. We’re delighted to see supporters who initially start with one intern come back the following year requesting two or three, such was the added value the intern brought.

The benefits can vary business to business and Interns bring more to a business than just an extra set of hands (although this additional resource is hugely appreciated).

New Ideas

We hear time and time again how an intern has brought a fresh perspective, and specialised strengths and skill sets such as new technology and social media skills. Gaining a different perspective of a business is very difficult for full time employees working in day-to-day operations.

Community Engagement

Internships is a very effective way to engage with your local community. Logistics companies often don’t get many opportunities to interact with their surrounding area and an internship is a great way to raise awareness of the business, create goodwill and motivate your existing workforce.

Management Training

Training standards for existing staff vary from business to business and management training is an expensive investment. Through managing and coaching an intern, employees can gain valuable leadership skills and experience as they mentor and supervise interns. For an employee who will eventually occupy a management position, supervising an intern can provide an excellent opportunity to learn new skills with minimised risk.

We’ve seen many instances where mentoring motivates employees to hold themselves more accountable and become effective leaders in a short space of time helping the company plan for the future.

Find a future employee

We’ve all experienced an employee who’s interviewed well but once hired they fail to succeed in their role.

Hiring someone as an intern is the most effective way to mitigate this risk and evaluate their potential as a full-time employee while at the same time having the benefit of added resource while assessing their employability.

How does it work? – its easier than you think

A lot of companies are anxious about hiring an intern as they are not entirely sure about what the person will do during their time at the company. Think Logistics makes this very easy. Through our delivery partner Career Ready, we support both our interns and companies every step of the way. From initial administration including insurance and health and safety through to developing an activity plan to make the most of the intern’s time with you.

Internship providers get support from Career Ready’s UK-wide Regional Manager team.

The internships we provide are unpaid for up to two-week placements and we request that supporters provide a paid internships for anything four weeks and over.

Our approach is tried and tested and is designed to give the intern valuable experience and crucially, maximum value for the company providing the internship.

Career Ready’s research confirms that 82% of students would consider working for the employer that provided their internship and given the opportunity 75% of employers said they would hire their Career Ready intern.

Can we interview the intern beforehand?

Interns are assessed by their school and Career Ready to ensure they are suitable before they are placed with you. In addition to that, many of our supporters follow this up with an informal interview to be sure they are getting someone who will fit in with their organisation.

How do we get involved?

Think Logistics operates across the UK but our focus this year is around the academies we have partnerships with. These are in Bristol, Warrington, Leeds, Mansfield, Stockton on Tees, North Shields, Grimsby, Swadlincote, York, Sheffield and Hinckley.

If hosting an intern is something that your business could benefit from or if you are interested in learning more, please contact Ian Nichol, Head of Logistics at Career Ready on ian.nichol@careerready.org.uk or 07872989158