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Top Logistics, Transport & Supply Chain Employers come together to create innovative Smart Business Academy

Yodel and an unprecedented number of major employers spanning the logistics, transport and supply chain sectors have come together to form the Smart Business Academy and lead a sector-wide bid for Employer Ownership of Skills funding.

The move sees a host of blue-chip businesses join forces to improve the perception of careers in their sectors, create business growth, create jobs and share innovation and best practice. These businesses will work together to identify the skills requirements of our current and future workforce in order to ensure that they can attract and develop talent to fulfil business growth plans. Through the Employer Ownership of Skills funding, these collaborating and confident companies hope to deliver an extensive programme of high-quality, employer-led training and investment in skills across the logistics, transport and supply chain industries. If successful with the EOP, the funding will be used to support learning solutions which do not fall under the scope of current frameworks and will be in addition to existing training, skills and business initiatives.

Alongside Yodel, companies already committed to the Smart Business Academy include: Arla Foods, Arriva, ASDA, Bibby Distribution, Kuehne + Nagel, Royal Mail, Sellafield Ltd, Stena Line, Stobart Group and TNT and form the interim Board which has 100% employer membership.

The Smart Business Academy is the bid for funding from these aligned industries that will also deliver for government a National Industrial Partnership (NIP) and was formed after these businesses decided to collaborate to achieve mutual benefit and growth.

The Smart Business Academy model features three key pillars: people development, business development and innovation and communication. An interim main Board, and thus nascent NIP comprising the large employer representatives is spearheading the programme to ensure that the widest possible number of businesses have the opportunity to benefit.

Reporting directly to the Board, the SME Engagement & Representation Committee will focus on working with, and collaboration between, SME businesses and ensure that smaller and medium companies have access to the same quality of materials and support as large employers. As part of the broader stakeholder group, representatives from trade associations sit alongside British Dyslexia Association, the CBI, CILT, Institute for Sustainability, Job Centre Plus, Liverpool LEP, National Apprenticeship Service, Princes Trust, Skills for Logistics, Technology Strategy Board. Transport for London, Transport Knowledge Transfer Network and other business groups.

In these aligned industries where historically employers have sometimes missed the opportunity to work together, the Smart Business Academy is a unique opportunity to deliver sustainable business growth through collaboration and will ensure that skills investments work harder.

Neil Lloyd, CEO, Yodel, commented "Yodel is proud to be a founding member of the Smart Business Academy, taking a collaborative approach to addressing the challenges faced in attracting, developing and securing talent. We recognise that investment in people is key not just to a sustainable business but for the industry as a whole and we look forward to working alongside our fellow SBA members, shaping the sector for the future."

Anyone interested in finding out more about up to the Smart Business Academy should contact Kate Willard on 01228 882300 or email research@smartbusinessacademy.co.uk.

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