With the world opening up to international travel once again following pandemic restrictions, South West College was delighted to host delegates from a range of schools across Holland recently, who took part in an international knowledge exchange researching the impact of Brexit on the transport and supply chain industry in Northern Ireland.

Their visit included engagements at South West College’s Dungannon campus to view the facilities on offer and meet with both staff and students to discuss how knowledge in the transport and supply chain management industry is being delivered to the next generation.

With an acute shortage of HGV drivers at present in the UK and Ireland along with recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the supply chain industry is under pressure to deliver more than ever. There are huge expectations not only locally, but on a global scale for a successful supply chain industry to function efficiently.

However, there are opportunities out there for process improvement and collaboration which was the focus of discussion during their study visit. They were impressed with the college’s offering transport and supply chain management skills and knowledge for the future generation of professionals in the industry.

Kasper Heijnen, Transport and Logistics Co-ordinator at Alfa College in Hardenberg, welcomed opportunities for collaboration:

There are a large number of logistics and transport companies in Holland and across Europe. We would welcome students from South West College to expand their experience of the industry with a thriving European base.

Jos van Kollenberg is the Senior Adviser in Education and Travel at StudiereisMBO based in Utrecht praised the number of family businesses in the transport and logistics industry based across the island of Ireland as well the opportunities to work in the industry:

“It may be a traditional thing here but it is great to see so many family started businesses in the transport and logistics in the country. There are more opportunities than you would think as every company including defense, healthcare, and food producers among many others.”

Pamela Dennison, lecturer at South West College, shared her thoughts on preconceived opinions about the industry:

“Unless a student has a parent or relative in the industry, there are notions of a dirty job stuck in a lorry. This is not the case at all. Drivers are in more cleaner, health and safety conscious environment than ever before with the latest technology available in vehicles as well as highly skilled logistics coordinators and warehouse operatives to provide a slick, efficient work environment that has endless opportunities for growth and expansion”.

There is a dearth in skills across the transport and supply chain industry in Northern Ireland at present and no better time to get involved in an exciting career path by starting your transport and supply chain journey at South West College. With digital technology, data analytics and sustainable transportation part of what you can learn all about in the classroom and in the workplace environment, it truly is a modern and varied career to get into at this time.

Want to get involved in a career in transport and supply chain?