It does not have to be Google, BMW, Tesla, British Aerospace, or Volvo, to name but a few highly reputable enterprises. Kuehne + Nagel, A.P. Moeller-Maersk, the Lufthansa Group, Delta Air Lines, or DHL are also interesting employers, offering a wide range of attractive career opportunities. Now, the two renowned media and freight experts, Michael Sales and Sebastiaan Scholte, have started a global initiative to attract young people to the cargo and logistics business.
Sebastiaan Scholte is a well-known name in the international air freight and logistics industry. After his exit from the Dutch transport group, Jan de Rijk, at the end of March 2019, which he had headed for nine long years, and his subsequent resignation as TIACA chairman, things had become quiet around the inspiring and dynamic manager.
Until now. Together with Michael Sales, one of the world's most experienced and respected air freight journalists, Scholte has launched an initiative. Their mutual goal: to win young talents for the cargo industry, because air freight competes with other industries in attracting capable new staff, yet, given its rather uninspiring public reputation in comparison to the Googles and Apples of this world, it mostly draws the short straw.
Similar initiatives have repeatedly been pushed forward by TIACA and IATA in the past. However, the outcome of their appeals was rather meager, to put it mildly.
Michael Sales and Sebastiaan Scholte have chosen a different path in their global approach: They intend to address logistics enterprises, cargo carriers, sales agents, and universities directly in order to have the people in charge of hiring open the doors for their cause. It is a very practical approach, focusing on internships supported by universities in close collaboration with reputable logistics companies, helping students gain valuable work experience and insights prior to starting their professional careers. Part of their program is also to initiate direct meetings between students and industry representatives to gain first-hand experience and discuss questions about the business with experts in a casual atmosphere. “I still feel there is a serious lack of awareness about air cargo, which offers so many fascinating and rewarding careers. We are aiming to attract school leavers and students to this wonderful business, which has been hidden for so many years,” states Michael Sales.
Closing the rift between teaching and practice
Sebastiaan Scholte adds to this: “Air cargo needs new ideas and fresh energy from a new generation of active entrepreneurs with technical skills and ambition.” He speaks of a mismatch between universities and enterprises, which seem to act on different planets: “Universities complain that they cannot provide interesting internships, projects and even jobs for their student base, whereas companies are struggling to attract young talent.”
How this gap can best be closed is shown in a video outlining the many opportunities and attractions of the freight industry. For this reason, Sales launched a website ( https://imccareers.org/ ), supported by Scholte, which offers the target group of young talents both an overview as well as abundant in-depth information on this thrilling business.
The campaign has started
It begins with rather simple questions such as: “Did you know that around 35% of world trade’s value is delivered by air?”, and explains in detail the role of Logistics Service Providers, the demanding task of Ground Handling Agents, or the increasing importance of Digitalization, Automation, and Artificial Intelligence in the air cargo supply chain, to name just some of the site’s contents.
Both initiators intend to distribute their campaign through the regular and social media, universities, schools and cargo companies actively supporting their approach.
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