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Career Options in Transport & Logistics: School Leaver

Interested in the complex systems and organisational procedures that get our goods to where they need to be and ourselves from A to B on a daily basis? You could explore career paths in transport and logistics from lots of different levels – and school leaver is no exception!

School leaver opportunities in transport & logistics

- Advanced Apprenticeships

- Higher Apprenticeships

- Sponsored degree programmes

- Entry level jobs

There are many apprenticeships on the engineering and manufacturing side of the transport and logistics sector, so if you want to become an engineer, this is a route well worth considering. You could get involved with the automobile industry, shipping, train services or even aircraft companies training up to be an engineer at various levels, from an Advanced Apprenticeship (for applicants with GCSEs), up to Higher Apprenticeships (with A-levels) or even sponsored degree programmes in areas like mechanical engineering or aerospace. Each of these options will provide the opportunity to blend working and learning on-the-job with study for a professional qualification. Qualifications could be something along the lines of a Level 3 or Level 4 NVQ in a relevant area of engineering.

There are lots of roles outside of the engineering remit too that hold together the transport and logistics industries, making sure goods and passengers get to their destinations safely and on time. These roles could deal with both domestic and international jobs. Out on the road, you could join the army of couriers and drivers who are the indispensable worker ants of the logistics industry for instance. These jobs don’t require you to have academic qualifications. You’ll just need to earn the right driver’s license! Office roles involve the coordination and tracking of deliveries and journeys, as well as dealing with customer queries and complaints accordingly or working in the finance side of the business. Logistics companies tend to offer a number of apprenticeship and entry level positions across all lines of their business that are suited to school leavers.

Setting the school leaver record straight

The transport and logistics sector is one of those that is particularly open and welcoming to individuals of all levels of experience. There’s scope for career progression aplenty! For example, you could start out on an Advanced Apprenticeship straight after school, and on completion of the scheme you could jump up to the next level – a Higher Apprenticeship – if there’s one available within the company. As you build up these qualifications and work experience, you could even be in line to apply for a sponsored degree programme if you’re interested in the engineering side of the sector.

With this in mind. You can still potentially gain the same level of academic qualification as a graduate, with the bonus of plenty of paid work experience in the industry in which you want to work. It could take a few more years to get to this point if you work up from Advanced Apprenticeship level, but you’ll certainly be set up with a lot more on-the-job experience than the average engineering graduate. A juicy employability bonus!  

Formal education: Should I stay or should I go?

If you want to head into a career such as supply chain logistics and distribution working on things such as strategy development, then you may want to consider staying on and heading to university to study a degree. Working up the ladder can take a lot of time and patience if you’re looking to build up from the warehouse floor, and in-depth knowledge of strategy is needed.

However, the high number of apprenticeships available in the industry mean that you will certainly be able to find a fulfilling pathway here if you do want to leave formal education after GCSEs or A-levels. And there are certainly some attractive alternative options available if you want to get into engineering, as leaving school after your GCSEs or A-levels doesn’t mean that you can’t obtain the same level of  engineering qualifications in the long run that your peers who take on the university path do.