CLEAR_LUTTERWORTH_Artists Impression

A new logistics and supply chain training and research facility is coming to the Magna Park development in Lutterworth, Leicestershire.

The Centre for Logistics Education and Research (CLEAR) will be launched this summer and aims to help the sector address key challenges as the UK moves towards economic recovery and renewed growth following the coronavirus pandemic.

Developed through a partnership between industry and education, the centre will be based at Bittesby House in the Magna Park northern extension, eventually moving to a bespoke facility.

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College (NWSLC) is working with Aston University, Wincanton and distribution park developer GLP to provide professional development across logistics and supply chain roles at all levels.

The first phase of the project will provide the platform for a future national centre of excellence with a campus accommodating up to 1,000 students and providing applied research and associated facilities.

The ambitions of the centre were revealed to industry at a webinar last month with speakers hosted by Richard Atkinson CBE, teaching fellow, leadership, strategy, engagement at Aston University and including NWSLC’s principal and chief executive, Marion Plant, OBE FCGI, Professor Edward Sweeney from Aston University, and Dean Clamp, who is group HSEQ director for Wincanton and a board member of the Chartered Institute for Logistics and Transport (CILT).

Professor Sweeney commented: “Operating within a highly competitive environment with the challenges of harnessing new technology and ‘big data’ across businesses of all sizes in a changing political and environmental context requires a highly skilled and professional workforce. The aim is that working closely with industry, CLEAR will be ideally positioned to address its needs and provide skills training and development opportunities that are tailor-made for the sector.”

Plant added: “Our ambitions for CLEAR are based on offering a holistic one-stop-shop training service both from its base at Magna Park and also remotely online, enabling a flexible skills pathway tailored to meet the needs of specific businesses and providing individuals with well-defined opportunities to progress their careers.

“Businesses can train one or many members of their team with flexible start dates and bespoke provision and students will be able to move seamlessly between training partners as their development needs progress and skills gaps are identified, improving retention, and driving down costs.

“CLEAR can get training programmes up and running very quickly as it already has systems in place to fulfil training design briefs at all levels. Commissioning training through CLEAR will bring shorter lead times between the identification of training needs and students starting their courses or programmes. Businesses can also benefit from advice on funding for apprenticeships, whether organisations pay the Apprenticeship Levy or not, and can find out how levy-payers can share funds to support training across their supply chain.”