A NEW course aimed at gearing up youngsters for thousands of jobs set to be created in south Essex will be launched later this year.

Between them, the sprawling logistics park at the vast London Gateway port, Stanford-le-Hope, and a similar distribution centre at the Port of Tilbury will create at least 13,000 jobs.

And to ensure our youngsters have the edge when it comes to competing for roles, such as transport managers and supply chain analysts, the region’s biggest college is starting a course aimed at teaching students all they need to know about getting things from A to B - whether that’s by road, rail, sea or air.

The South Essex College course will be led by Mark Bentley, who has enjoyed a long career in logistics working for Royal Mail and Unipart among others before turning to teaching.

It will start this September at the college’s new £45million campus in Grays.

Mark explained: “Logistics is about moving things from A to B.

“Everything we touch or deal with has got to have a supply chain, it’s got to have a set of transportation processes.

“The precursor for this course is getting the message out. It reflects what the area needs and where the jobs are as logistics doesn’t get bigger than it is in Essex right now.

“This course will give learners the platform, and the springboard, to take opportunities as they come to the area and it also breeds fresh new talent for logistics companies already working in the area.

And it’s not just at the ports where jobs will become available. Mark predicts that empty warehouses in Basildon could soon be used by companies as distribution centres.

He said: “Basildon is very well geographically placed to take on firms wishing to set up centres in the area, but that can’t or won’t use the logistics parks though still want to be near the port.”

Thurrock Gazette: The Gudrun Maersk docking at London Gateway

The Gudrun Maersk - the biggest ship to ever venture up the Thames - docking at London Gateway last week

He added: “The development of London Gateway and the logistics parks in the area brings a real focus to the logistics industry. But that comes with expectation and that expectation will only be fulfilled by the skill and efficiency of the workforce.”


TO get on the 25-place, fully-funded “logistics and business” course, students aged 16 to 18 will need to have at least a C grade in GCSE English and Maths. The course is two years and students could come away with a BTEC Level 3, equivalent to an A-Level.

The course will focus on: *business communication *supply chain and stock management *transport planning *transport systems and the environment On completing the course, students can apply for one of the thousands of logistics jobs set to become available in the next ten years, Course leader Mark Bentley is hoping to involve logistics companies in the course too, so that youngsters leave the college with the very latest knowledge on what is required within the industry.

Students might also choose to become apprentices - or decide to look at doing a degree in Logistics.

For more information, click here



Port of Tilbury:

-In 2012, Forth Ports, who own the Port of Tilbury - formerly known as Tilbury Docks - invested £95million in developing the port’s shipping container operation. Following on from this the next phase, the construction of a neighbouring logistics park, called London Distribution Park, started last year. The 70-acre (39 football pitches) development will eventually employ 1,100 people. There is no set opening date as yet.

London Gateway Port:

-2,000 port-only jobs will be available at the London Gateway port by the time it is fully operational

- The second berth is due to open in April. A further 10,000 jobs will be created on the neighbouring logistics park.

-In June, Marks and Spencer announced it would be the first firm to locate on the 741 acres (420 football pitches) park, creating 700 jobs alone. Work start on the base later this year.

Logistics in Essex:

-Essex has more than 1,000 port and logistics companies, more than any other county in the East of England.

-Thurrock provides the greatest concentration of logistics operations supporting London.

-Almost 14,500 people work in the logistics sector in Essex. This includes a range of disciplines including warehousing, transport, administration, technology and management.