Inspiring the next generation (of forwarders)

BIFA’s Young Forwarder Network, is probably one of the most important – and unique – developments for young people in our industry. We explore Metro’s Colin Smith’s role in the YFN story.

Colin Smith is Metro’s Training & Career Development Manager and has been developing our young people with the skills and attitudes needed in the world of work for many years.

Beyond filling skills gaps, businesses need to constantly innovate and change to retain a competitive edge in the forwarding market and young people are uniquely placed to address both issues.

The business case for engaging with young people is clear and prompted Colin to join industry association BIFA’s steering group, in developing the original Freight Forwarding Apprenticeship.

Ensuing workshops facilitated by Colin and BIFA colleagues compared what managers and owners of companies wanted, with the need to harness the ambitions and skills of their young forwarders, to future-proof their businesses.

Evolving from the apprenticeship scheme and these workshops the Young Forwarder Network (YFN) is committed to supporting career development, improving young people’s industry knowledge and shaping the future, with regional networking groups. To meet and learn from industry professionals and boost their continuous professional development.

Colin is a governor of the Midlands Group, providing guidance and support to the Chair and Vice Chair and, with Metro’s support, sponsoring events, including the inaugural event “Insights into what customer often really want”.

Despite COVID-19 the midlands YFN group is maintaining a schedule of virtual events, in line with its mission, to boost knowledge, share skills, advice and experience from industry professionals.