Skills for Logistics (SfL) is looking to launch new Occupational Craft Skills Groups, this time focusing on specific markets, such as waste operations and pharmaceutical.The move comes after the sector skills council created nine groups last year covering general areas such as driving, warehousing and fleet management, all headed by senior representatives of each sector’s relevant trade association.

SfL is looking to set up new groups in waste operations because it is a significant area in terms of the number of companies involved – both large and small – that is all too often ignored, and therefore its specialist skills and requirements get overlooked.

Pharmaceutical, which is regulated under the Good Distribution Practices guidelines, is also an area where transport hasoften been viewed as high risk in the supply chain, especially where there is a requirement to maintain the temperature of the products, according to Brian Szukala, programme manager at SfL.

“When you consider the cost of the goods being distributed and the risk to a shortage in the supply chain, it's a critical skills area and one where there is currently no clear training programme, just guidelines,” said Szukala.

“It almost needs something similar to the newly developed petroleum passport and I'm sure the UK regulatory body for pharma and most pharma companies would welcome it,” he added.

Szukala said it was only through discussion with industry that SfL will be able to develop the right skills products to meet employers’ needs.

“We welcome any companies that would like to participate in any of the craft skill groups or discuss their issues with us in more detail,” he said.