Operators can tackle skills shortage with virtual internships


With awareness of transport and logistics higher than ever, Think Logistics is calling on companies in the sector to support the project’s virtual learning plans to help plug the skills gap.

Due to the pandemic, the vital role of logistics companies and the jobs they do have been highlighted to the public more than ever before. Think Logistics want to capitalise on this increased awareness of the sector and are looking for more logistics companies to support their virtual internship learning programme.

Think Logistics is the industry-led, not-for-profit project involving some of the UK’s best-known transport and logistics companies. Started in 2013 Think Logistics has grown rapidly and operates across the country in schools and colleges providing, workshops, work placements, mentoring and internships.

With schools closed, our supporters can no longer support in the same way as they did pre-pandemic, so alongside social mobility and education charity Career Ready, Think Logistics are now asking companies across the sector to provide virtual internship placements.

Career Ready works across multiple sectors and have had success with their virtual internships over the last year. A recent survey by the charity revealed 72% of supervisors would hire their intern, 81% of students would consider working for their internship employer and 70% of supervisors said their coaching skills had improved.

In addition to these positive statistics, the benefits to a company of hiring an intern is compelling. Interns can bring a fresh perspective, renewed energy, risk free line management training and valuable resource to companies. For the intern, Career Ready’s research shows 81% are motivated to work harder at school and 79% would consider a career in the sector they completed their internship in, following their placement.

Think Logistics and Career Ready have several options available for companies looking to provide internships. These include remote working, on-site (Covid-Secure) working, or a combination of the two.

What will the Virtual intern do?

Think Logistics and Career Ready structure the internships to be as easy for the supporting company as possible and are available throughout the internship for any additional support needed.

Every company will have the support of a dedicated Career Ready Regional Manager.

Internships last from four to six weeks, and it is expected that Interns will be paid minimum wage, fulfil a specific role or project which will underpin a presentation back to the supporting company at the end of the internship. It is expected that interns will have at least one ‘check in’ with their host company per day.

Steve Granite, Abbey Logistics CEO and Think Logistics Founder said:

“Up until March 2020, Think Logistics and Career Ready were reaching up to 3,000 students per year through a combination of presentations in schools, work placements and internships.

“As this is no longer possible, it was vital we found new digital and innovative ways of delivering paid internships for students and continuing the momentum we have built up over the past seven years.

“Paid internships are the beating heart of our proposition, but we have more students looking for an internship than supporting companies, so we need more organisations from our sector to step up, and maximise the increased awareness in our sector and make sure we still reach as many students as possible despite the pandemic.

“We are confident that once a company experiences the benefits of hosting an intern or a work placement, they will be eager to continue to support in the future, helping provide the next generation with the skills and experience our sector needs.

For more information please contact Career Ready’s head of logistics Ian Nichol on ian.nichol@careerready.org.uk or 07872989158.