Skills for Logistics (SfL) organised the first ‘Made in China’ Logistics Challenge in the Doncaster Local Logistics Community Network (LLCN) region on the 17 October.
The three local schools taking part were: De Warren and Selby Park Academy, along with hosts, Rossington All Saints Academy School in Doncaster. With a proposed new Inland Port to be located in Rossington, it was the perfect location for a ‘Made in China’ Challenge.
‘Made in China’ is a school enterprise activity, which introduces 14-16 year olds to the world of logistics. This effective way of demonstrating the role that logistics plays as a key sector within the UK economy also shows the broad range of careers it can offer. Young people taking part gain a great opportunity to work in teams, practice their problem-solving skills and use their imagination. The ‘Made in China’ Challenge is part of the SfL ‘Logistics Locker’ website, which allows organisations to access free learning materials.
“All of those involved in supporting the day agreed that the event was a great success for the schools involved,” said Louise Christie of Skills for Logistics, who looks after the Doncaster LLCN and helped organise the event with SfL implementation specialist, Sally Mawson. “The mentoring and judging on the day was superb, with lots of taxing costings and mathematics, route planning, group work and some amazing presentations by the pupils involved.”
She added: “The event also helped strategic partners understand how to deliver a ‘Made in China’ Challenge day, many of whom have stated that they would like to run a similar event themselves, to start the cascade process and further reach and attract more young people into logistics.”
Mentors and judges who gave up their valuable time on the day included Jayne Hemmingham of Huddersfield University; Kevin Robinson of the Grimsby Institute (FE); Michelle Wright of Morphy Richards; Graham Slack of Wincanton; Hazel Sykes of Doncaster Council; Linda Richards of the Schools Partnership Trust and Sarah Stokes, All Saints Academy Assistant Principle.
Sarah said: ‘’I would like to say a huge thank you to Louise and Sally for organising the event and also to all the judges that made the day a huge success. I saw some of our students at the end of the day and they were enthused about logistics and hugely proud of their achievement. I would definitely be interested in attending training on how to deliver the event as I would like to hold an annual competition across the partnership.”
All Saints Academy is so committed to exploring logistics as a vocational offering that it is piloting the Langdon Industries Level 2 Diploma, Pre-Apprenticeship award at the school with a number of sixth form students. The award is also being piloted at Dearne Valley College and other schools have expressed an interest in logistics to enhance the curriculum offer.
“The next steps could be to run a further training day, in conjunction with Doncaster Council, supported by the LLCN chair, Hazel Sykes, so that we can start to cascade this valuable expertise further,” said Louise Christie.
She concluded: “We would like to say a big thank you to Rossington All Saints for the venue and help – they have a wonderful school and very helpful staff!”