De Montfort University students fuel solutions to combat logistics skills shortage

Pall-Ex has teamed up with De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) to help tackle the logistics industry’s nationwide skills shortage.

The palletised freight network has tasked second year marketing students with developing creative ideas to promote careers in the logistics sector to young people aged 16 to 24.

The Ellistown firm has provided a live brief for an integrated marketing campaign, using market research, social media, influencer marketing and PR.

Campaigns will promote HGV driving roles and other careers, encouraging applicants from under-represented groups, such as women and BAME communities.

The industry is facing a growing shortage of drivers due to an ageing workforce; research from workers’ union Unite shows that just 1% of HGV drivers in the UK are aged under 25, while the average age of drivers was recorded at 48 in 2016 – up from 45.3 in 2001 – with 13% aged over 60.

Despite being the UK’s fifth largest employer, responsible for moving 1.41 billion tonnes of goods in 2018 according to figures from the Department for Transport, the logistics industry continues to face recruitment issues.

Rachael Mabe, who runs the Advertising & Promotion module at DMU, comments: “It’s fantastic that one of Leicestershire’s largest companies wants to work with our students on this important marketing campaign. We’re so proud of the talent and work ethic our students show, and working on live projects like this gives our students invaluable first-hand, practical experiences which enable them to develop the skills and qualities required in the workplace. I’m looking forward to seeing what ideas they come up with.”

Abby Langley, Marketing Manager at Pall-Ex and DMU Alumni spoke to the students about the project: “It’s great to be back at DMU, I loved my time here. Pall-Ex are passionate about promoting the logistics industry to the younger generation and I cannot wait to hear the ideas the students come up with.”

Kevin Buchanan, Group CEO at Pall-Ex, comments: “Attracting the younger generation has become more challenging as they are unaware of the scope of jobs available and the opportunities for progression.

“We see this as a learning opportunity for ourselves, as well as the students, as it will enable us to get a fresh perspective from young people themselves and better understand how to inform them on the great opportunities within the logistics sector.

“We want logistics to be a talking point in schools, so we can educate young people on the positives of not only driving, but other roles in the industry and the important role logistics plays in all of our lives.”

Pall-Ex Group is an award-winning network of hauliers formed in 1996. As the No.1 network for quality, Pall-Ex is a renowned name in logistics, delivering an efficient and reliable service backed by innovative technology and a first-class network of established SMEs. With its headquarters and central UK hub located in the Midlands, Pall-Ex is the beating heart of the logistics industry, transporting more than 30,000 pallets across the globe every day with support from its carefully selected international partners. For more information on Pall-Ex, visit