Roads minister Stephen Hammond has praised Skills for Logistic’s (SfL) “innovative” new initiative to recruit armed forces personnel into the road transport sector.

Speaking at the official launch of the Military Transitions to Logistics programme at London’s Imperial War Museum earlier this month, the minister added: “I’m delighted to be a part of it and wish it a huge success.”

Hammond urged others within road transport to get involved with an initiative that hopes to entice 1,000 ex-services personnel into the sector by the end of its pilot phase in March 2013.

Given a soft launch last month, the initiative has more than 50 road transport employers on board including big names such as  DHL, Kuehne + Nagel and Gist.

The programme provides a route from the armed services into civilian logistics, and includes a two week work placement, support, interviews and feedback.

It is hoped the measure will help the logistics industry find the 500,000 additional recruits it is projected to need from now until 2017 if it is simply to replace those leaving the industry.