New enterprise centre launched in Lutterworth

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A specialist training centre in Lutterworth which is thought to be the first of its kind in the UK is now teaching its first students.

The Logistics Education Centre at the Sir Frank Whittle Studio School in the town was officially opened last month.

The school’s headteacher Paul Hostead said: “Our plan is to create a pioneering, specialist logistics centre which will be a unique feature, not replicated by any other school in the UK.

“It will serve as a learning centre for other schools in the area. It’s a really exciting opportunity for our students.”

At the centre’s official opening staff, students and governors of the school were joined by town firms including Asda Logistics Services, CEVA Logistics, Core Management Logistics, Transline, Disney Store European Distribution Centre and Culina Logistics.

Also attending were Cllr Philip Toye, the Mayor of Lutterworth, and Lutterworth MP Andrew Robathan.

The logistics centre has been set up as a direct result of a £52,787 grant received from education group The Edge Innovation and Development Fund.

Foundation project and operations manager Jane Samuels said it was important that education at school was aimed at real jobs in the outside world.

She added: “Edge has worked hard over the past decade to realign the education our schools provide with the demands of the economy.

“The grant fund has allowed us to reach out across the country so that Sir Frank Whittle Studio School, and the other grant recipients, can help this unfold at a local level, demonstrating there are many paths to success.

“We look forward to seeing the school model of profound employer engagement grow and develop.”

The studio school, which opened its doors in September 2014, follows the Studio School model of extensive employer links via project briefs and work experience.

It aims for students to be immersed in a real working environment.

One of the aims of the launch event was to seek support from key logistics companies in the area.

The school wants to encourage younger students to think of logistics as a career and to come to the studio school to achieve their ambitions.

It also aims to build up a network of industrial logistics partners.

These firms will lend their support to the school by offering such things as work placements, site visits, mock interviews for students, careers guidance and resource advice.

Nearby Magna Park is one of the biggest logistics and distribution centres in the country, and is looking to expand further.

If the expansion is approved, Magna Park would emply 15,000 people, many of who would be from the Lutterworth area.

The UK logistics industry is worth £75 billion to the UK economy, and employs about 2.2 million people.

It is estimated that one in 12 people in the UK now works in logistics.

The sector enables efficient management of the goods supply chain, by ensuring that goods or services are available where and when they are needed, in good condition and at competitive prices.