Skills for Logistics, (SfL), China Federation for Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP), and British Council China have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see the three parties co-operating on areas such as logistics talent cultivation, standardisation and vocational education.
The MoU was signed at the offices of Unipart Logistics in Cowley, Oxfordshire and marked the culmination of a successful visit by a CFLP delegation, a return visit for a delegation to China led by Skills for Logistics in October 2012. The CFLP delegation toured logistics operations and academic institutions around England to see at first-hand how key UK employers engage with the skills system to develop a world class technical and vocational educational training system in the logistics sector.
The MoU is an exciting step forward in the development of Sino-UK co-operation on logistics vocational education. The co-operation will include: Establishing a ‘Platform for Sino-UK Co-operation on Modern Logistics Vocational Education’. This industry-led platform will facilitate communication and co-operation between employers, education & training institutions and central government in the two countries. A continuing dialogue will be held to enable each country to gain a deeper understanding of the other’s logistics sector, which is an important first step in the realisation of further co-operative projects. There will be frequent exchange of information on the Chinese and British Logistics Sectors communicated widely through the trade media in each country. This will provide intelligence useful to employers and vocational trainers in both countries.
SfL and CFLP will collaborate to develop National Occupational Standards for the Chinese Logistics Sector which will broaden and modernise existing Chinese Standards reflecting the diversity of roles represented in the UK logistics sector and the global nature of logistics & supply chain management. This co-operation will be the first step in a wider collaboration on joint curricula and qualifications. The three parties agree to support an Apprenticeship Pilot Project to introduce the UK Apprenticeship model to the Chinese logistics vocational education sector. Colleges and employers in China will be selected for a pilot programme. This project will also be part of the broader programme on Apprenticeships under UK-China Partners in Education programme and the MoU between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and Ministry of Education. Other co-operative projects relating to logistics vocational education and training will also be implemented, including programmes where UK institutions train teachers in Chinese vocational colleges, a programme of student and employee exchanges between employers in both countries and increasing collaboration on the development of joint curricula producing accredited, internationally recognised qualifications. Commenting on the cooperation, Susan Milner, Director Education at the British Council China, said: “The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between British Council China, Skills for Logistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing marks the beginning of an exciting new phase in Sino-UK cooperation on vocational education. Through supporting the development of partnerships between Logistics sector employers, colleges and logistics trainees from China and the UK, this MoU will enhance the provision of skills training and increase employability in both countries.”
Dr Mick Jackson, CEO of Skills for Logistics, said: “We believe this is an exciting opportunity for meaningful collaboration between two countries that are joined by a number of key global supply chains. A common set of Occupational Standards will lay down a great platform for the development of joint curricula, qualifications and programmes into the future. Whilst programmes will be tailored for local conditions the collaboration really recognises that logistics is a global industry.”
Mr Ren Haoxiang, Vice Chair of CFLP, said: “The relationship is based on friendly consultation, mutual learning and mutual benefit. China wants to change the structure of its Logistics vocational education to ensure that it is not a brake on economic growth. This means improving the vocational training of our logisticians. We are looking forward to learning more about the British system of National Occupational Standards (NOS) and the way they have been encapsulated in the Professional Development Stairway. The introduction of Standards is an essential early step but so too is the need to ‘train the trainers’ and give them the experience of working in logistics environments, which is essential if they are to train our future logistics workforce.”