The Humber: The international gateway for logistics

The Humber: The international gateway for logistics

Currently experiencing brisk growth and an economic revival, the Humber region is building on its rich maritime heritage and emerging rapidly as the UK’s Energy Estuary, an international hub for energy and renewables.

As home to the country’s largest, multi-purpose ports complex – ‘HumberPort’, the region is experiencing significant growth in the trade of fuel, cars, food, freight, passengers and petroleum. Over £6bn of private investment and Government funding are helping to drive the Humber’s prosperity, with industry-leading developments placing the spotlight on the region’s rich ambition.

Capitalising on the Humber’s strong position
The projected increase in employment opportunities in the ports, energy and logistics sectors presents a fantastic opportunity for the Humber region, as well as in the wider
UK economy. In the UK alone, 2.2 million people are employed in logistics – a number that is set to rise. However, recruitment remains a challenge. There are worker shortages, with an ageing workforce a contributing factor, along with the fact that the industry struggles to attract young people.

In order to reach the potential in the thriving Humber region, the Grimsby Institute and the Humber LEP have joined forces to create Modal Training, a leading training initiative for the region. It will ensure that businesses operating in the ports, energy and logistics sectors have access to the training support they need to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. Modal Training intends to work with them to develop their existing teams, train new members and raise the profile of career opportunities in these sectors to facilitate future recruitment.

Once in full operation in September, Modal Training will enjoy an ideal location in Immingham, on the south bank of the Humber, Europe’s fourth-largest trading estuary. Until now businesses and their employees have had to travel to access this specialised skills training. Now it’s available in the Yorkshire and Humber region. Not only will it help businesses in this area benefit, but Modal Training will serve companies from across the UK and internationally.

The importance of multimodal
Multimodal logistics plays a key role in the Humber, connecting businesses in the region with the rest of the UK and beyond, via road, rail, air and sea. Modal Training will be the first in the UK to offer integrated, multimodal logistics training, as well as a full range of support services. The idea of having everything under one roof is to centralise training for businesses who often have more than one requirement, or who are part of a supply chain with multimodal disciplines that need more consistency and connectivity between them.

Investment in world-class simulator training
Modal Training’s new £7million centre of excellence will be located in a 5,696 sq m bespoke designed facility, equipped with state-of-the-art simulators for training maritime crew, truck and crane drivers.

Modal Training 02

It will deliver realistic training in a wide range of settings. The first phase of work is currently underway and will include the learning resource centre, with its ICT suite, classrooms and seminar and conference facilities, followed by the installation of simulators, as well as a live rail track centre. It will also include warehouse operational training and working at height training to support the renewables and energy sectors in the region.

Modal Training has recently made its first investment in simulation – a full suite of advanced ship, offshore vessel, engine room and radar simulators from Kongsberg Maritime, the global leader in marine training technology. The equipment, which includes a detailed 360 degrees model of the Humber, will be used to support the delivery of advanced training courses for maritime professionals and businesses.

The simulators will enable Modal to offer training that effectively replicates the working environment for a wide range of maritime roles, including bridge crews, navigators, maritime engineers and Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) operators. Each part of the simulator system can be operated independently, or be interconnected to provide full vessel operation exercises for an entire crew.  

Modal Training listened to leading companies from across the maritime, offshore and renewables industries, and is now in the process of developing an extensive suite of equipment designed to meet their real-world training requirements exactly.

Industry-leading expertise
The idea behind Modal Training is to provide training of the absolute highest quality to businesses across the logistics supply chain. Not only does there have to be investment in advanced equipment and facilities to achieve this, but also a solid, knowledgeable team to develop and deliver these courses – through in-house staff, as well as training provider partnerships.

Modal Training is currently designing and creating courses and workshops for freight forwarding in the logistics industry. This includes workshops that are specific to the HMRC AEO accreditation application process, which businesses can take advantage of from May 2016, when changes in EU customs rules come into force.