The owners of Magna Park DC in Lutterworth are to extend the facility by six million ft² to the north, aiming to create more than 7,000 new jobs and a specialist technical college at the site when completed.


Already one of Europe's largest dedicated logistics and distibution parks, the finished site will span more than 14 million ft² and employ around 16,000 people.

MotorTransport.co.uk revealed last week that retail giant John Lewis has already signed up for a third DC at the expanding site.

Included in property developer IDI Gazeley’s plans is the proposal for a university technical college (UTC) for 14-to 18-year-olds in a bid to recruit more skilled young people into logistics, which it said are urgently needed by the sector.

Gwyn Stubbings, planning director at IDI Gazeley, said: “With the growth levels the logistics sector is experiencing, the demand for technically skilled people drastically outweighs supply.

"We urgently need to attract new talent, skills and professional qualifications into the industry and that is why we are leading the call for strong links within education.”

The comments were published in a new report looking at the skills need of the industry in the ‘logistics golden triangle’ Leicestershire region, commissioned by Baker Dearing Educational Trust.

Report co-author and former CEO at Skills for Logistics, Ross Moloney, said: “Our research found the aging profile of workers in logistics is a real concern for businesses and creates an urgent need for employers to engage with schools in a new way. Employers agree that they must consider a range of education models including UTCs to meet skills gaps.”

Employers who took part in interviews for the report also argued that the sector was becoming more technical and more than half of them said they do not believe that new recruits have the necessary technical skills.

Rachel Young, Logistics School of Excellence co-ordinator at Office Depot, added: “Young people do not understand what logistics entails and still consider it to be ‘trucks and warehouses’ so they do not apply for positions and we lose out on the talent they represent.”