Skills for Logistics (SfL) is to close down, with the board considering placing the business into administration after pension deficit pressure and a struggle to replace lost government funding for skills initiatives.

In an official statement issued today (6 January), SfL said: “The Board of Skills for Logistics (SfL) has taken the decision to close the business and is considering placing the company into administration in order to facilitate this closure.

"This has happened due to pressure placed on the business by the trustees of the pension scheme, which SfL joined following its initial set-up in 2003. Like many similar organisations, the significant pension deficit and subsequent on-going recovery payments has placed extreme pressure on a smaller SfL business in a rapidly changing economic environment.

“Skills for Logistics has worked hard to exist and be effective over the last 2-3 years in the ‘new world’ of substantially reduced public funding for skills initiatives, and now being required to become 100% funded through employer projects, has struggled to both replace revenue streams and continue to fund pension recovery payments.

“The organisation and its business plan have remained reasonably strong, however given the reduced activity level in 2015 and obligations to the pension scheme (particularly in the light a new approach by its trustees), the board felt it would be better to seek alternative options for the continuing industry skills projects. The board is therefore appointing an administrator and starting to work with our stakeholders to find a natural home for any on-going projects.” understands these projects include schemes such as the Logistics Guild, Certificate to Work for HGV Drivers and Standard of Excellence for Driver CPC training organisations.

Training course quality assurance body Jaupt - which was jointly guaranteed and governed by SfL and People 1st – will be unaffected by the closure and continue to operate as a separate entity.

Pictured is SfL chief executive Ross Moloney.