Freeport East Event Inspires Young People

Freeport East, together with the Connected Places Catapult and Clacton Coastal Academy, hosted an industry day and hackathon event in Clacton this week. The event aimed to showcase the wide range of careers within the freight and logistics sector, dispel misconceptions, and inspire young people to consider exciting career opportunities.

The freight and logistics sector plays a critical role in the UK economy. Each year, 1.6 billion tonnes of goods are transported across Britain, equivalent to 10,000 fully loaded aircraft carriers1. The complexity and scale of these activities create a range of exciting roles for young people. Since 2014, freight and logistics jobs have grown by 26%, nearly double the rate of the wider economy and ports and their surrounding areas are amongst the most exciting centres of logistics activity, bringing together maritime, rail and road activity and increasingly advanced technology.

There are estimated to be thousands of freight and logistics jobs in the Tendring and North Essex area working with some of the UK’s largest companies, as well as some of the smallest and innovative. Freeport East, covering the ports of Harwich, Felixstowe and Ipswich is keen to ensure local young people are aware of the diversity of opportunities, especially given new developments already underway in the area.

The modern freight Industry requires a range of skills, from vehicle drivers to transport planners, from remote control operators for robot technology to software developers. Today’s sector is increasingly focused on reducing carbon emissions and environmental impact, so there are many opportunities to apply climate awareness and green skills too.

“Our goal is to make the freight and logistics industry more accessible and appealing to young talent in the area,” said keynote speaker, Essex County Councillor and Freeport East Board Member Lesley Wagland OBE,“By showcasing the innovation within the sector, we hope to inspire the next generation of industry leaders. Events like these are crucial for bridging the gap between industry and young people in the region looking for new opportunities and this helps to build an exciting and sustainable future for both Tendring and the sector.”

Simon Papworth, Strategy & Policy Manager at Freeport East, highlighted that their ambition is to deepen knowledge of local job prospects in the Clacton area. “Our aim is motivating students and broadening their career horizons and we have worked closely with our partners to showcase the many diverse and rewarding opportunities available in the freight and logistics sector, as well as jobs in Essex and the wider Freeport East area.”

Laura Leatherby. Assistant Vice Principal at Clacton Coastal Academy was delighted to host the event. “The event was a fantastic opportunity to bridge the gap between the industry’s leading professionals and the bright minds of tomorrow, culminating in a ‘hackathon’ to put students’ newly gained knowledge of the sector and creative problem solving to the test.

“I would like to thank everyone involved for giving their time to support our students and introduce them to a sector that is very much at the forefront of the career opportunities they may face in the future. We look forward to collaborating further to consolidate and extend our students’ knowledge of the sector.”

Connected Places Catapult, a Government-funded centre of expertise for driving economic growth and opportunity, brought industry experts directly into the school environment and featured interactive sessions, including demonstrations by industry professionals from companies like hydrocarbon firm, Haltermann Carless, offering students firsthand experience and the chance to engage in problem-solving activities.

Read more news and exclusive features in our latest issue here.

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