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Skills for Logistics has announced the launch of a major new independent trade association for the UK’s specialist logistics training providers.

The Logistics Skills Network aims to bring together key organisations from the sector to develop and share best practices, knowledge, experience and resources, and offer a communication platform for the coordination of collective interests.

The network intends to work closely with government organisations such as the DVSA and DfT and will also receive strategic support from industry leaders.

Skills for Logistics (SfL) was founded in 2015 to address the skills gap within the sector. It now claims to be the industry's leading end-point assessing organisation.

The new not-for-profit initiative is a collaboration of SfL and Mantra Learning, a leading training provider to the logistics and automotive sectors offering apprenticeships and short courses.

Founding partners include David Coombes, chief executive of SfL and co-founder of the Logistics Skills Network; Mark Currie, chief executive of Mantra Learning and the National Logistics Academy; Paul Spink, development director, Skills for Logistics; and Richard Weston, strategic development manager, Mantra Learning and the National Logistics Academy.

“Vocational training has never been properly represented in logistics," explained Coombes. "This allows us to be a collective voice with lots of training providers working together and will enhance how we’re seen and allow us to properly represent the training industry.

"The issue for me and the founders is that the training is very disparate with limited regulation. You have no real national providers, it’s all regional or local.

"We need a body to properly promote and deal with the government and the DVSA, but also a body that allows training providers to appreciate what they should be doing in this post-Covid world. And without wishing to dismiss what they do, to professionalise them."

Mike Warner, senior external affairs manager at the DVSA, added: “The DVSA is looking forward to building on our new relationship to pioneer the development of the Logistics Skills Network. We will collaborate with it in our service development plans and ensure active engagement for member representation.”

Ruth Wallace of driver training provider Wallace School of Transport was one of the first to sign up for membership: “At last, a collective voice for vocational driver training providers," she said. "Anyone who is frustrated with the present state of the industry should join this network. Together we can make a difference.”

Membership is available for independent training providers and in-house training departments of fleet operators. For more information email, call 0117 927 8807 or visit