• Background South West

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    Sector Overview

    Transport & Logistics

    • 1.45 million people work in this sector in the UK

    • There are over 42,000 HGVs registered in the country

    • Wages for goods drivers range from £16,000 to £33,000

    • Work hours for both sectors can be any time of day and might well include bank holidays and weekends

    • Big demand for younger workers because of an ageing workforce

    • Only 16% of the workforce are educated to degree level

    This is a 24/7 industry which underpins the entirety of business, manufacturing and tourism across the whole world! People and goods need to be transported quickly, safely and comfortably any time of day, and any day of the year.

    Logistics is the movement of goods and can include transporting supplies and merchandise by air, land and sea. Much of the work goes on behind the scenes, in offices and over the phone, coordinating fleets of lorries and freight carriers. You might want to be on the front lines instead, working on a ship for the Merchant Navy or driving lorries cross-country. Similarly, transport covers getting people where they need to go via bus, train, air and sea.


    Transport & Logistics

    Rail Services & Operations

    Rail Services covers passenger and freight transport, as well as the maintenance of the tracks they run on. Trains can carry any number of things, from people to plutonium and running the network so that the two don’t collide is a difficult task. You could be working on the trains themselves, or repairing the tracks and signals that they rely on. Starters in this line of work can expect to start out on around £13,000 for passenger rail services, while you can expect to begin with between £10,000 and £14,000 in rail freight job roles. With advancement in both industries you could be on double that in no time.

    Passenger services

    We probably take public transport for granted, but without it millions wouldn’t be able to get around. Driving buses and coaches isn’t easy; it takes plenty of training to be able to manoeuvre a vehicle of that size. It’s certainly a job that gets you satisfaction and if you’re a people person, then you’ll really enjoy it! Starting salaries are usually around the £13,000 mark, but overtime or extra shifts will get you more.

    Warehouse & Storage

    When you order something off the internet, chances are it’s coming from a warehouse somewhere in the world. Warehouses are used to store goods before they are shipped out to customers. They’re found all over the place, but mostly near areas that have access to various forms of transport, such as ports, motorways and airports. The staff in warehouses require training to use machinery, such as forklifts, but there are also admin and management roles available. Starting salaries are usually around £10,000 to £14,000 for floor staff, but with training and experience you can expect to earn well over £20,000.

    Goods Transportation

    We’ve all seen lorries on the motorway, probably without giving much thought as to what they’re carrying. Drivers travel all over the country delivering loads and carrying products from one area to another and if you’re a fan of travelling you’ll really get a kick out of this career. You could also find yourself behind the wheel of a van, or delivering by bike or motorcycle. If you’re in a truck, there’s also a strong possibility that you’ll have to drive to somewhere in Europe, such as Holland, Belgium and France, as the UK relies on international logistics to import its goods from elsewhere. You can expect to earn around £11,000 when starting out, but the salary for a fully qualified HGV tanker driver is £35,000.

    Mail Services

    This isn’t just being a postman (sorry, logistics technician). While the delivery of products is an important part of this industry, it’s not the only part. Post has to be sorted, processed, and security checked before it is delivered and there are job roles from the sorting floor to right up to your front door! Salaries usually start out between £10,000 and £15,000, but jobs in the sorting office tend to offer a little bit more (around £14,000 to £15,500) and have better prospects for advancements.

    Air Freight & Transport

    Everybody always thinks of pilots when they think of airlines, but cabin crews are just one cog in the smoothly oiled machine that is an airline company. Ground support staff, baggage handlers, air traffic controllers and customer service staff all work in unison to make sure passengers (and their luggage!) get to their destination on time safely. Moving freight by air is also a huge part of logistics, especially for high value goods such as fine art, machinery or even animals! Salaries start out between £10,000 and £15,000, rising to between £15,000 and £24,000 when you’re fully qualified.

    Sea Freight & Transport

    As well as air, road and rail, goods can be moved by sea, both across the UK and around the world. People in these industries will work closely with port authorities to make sure the valuable loads keep moving and arrive on time. You could work as a crane operator moving heavy containers or as a port operative helping with the movement of passengers and cargo. Salaries start at around £12,000, but experienced operatives can earn in excess of £20,000 a year.

    Removals & Moving House

    When the time comes to make a big move, you’ll be hard pressed to get everything in the back of a Ford Fiesta. This is why we have the removals service, who load up our possessions carefully and transport them to a new location. Salaries usually start out around the £12,000 mark, but increases with experience.


    Transport & Logistics


    If you are 16 or over then you can enter an Apprenticeship, which would teach you the skills that you need while you work, you’ll also earn a salary. On your Apprenticeship, your time will be split between doing the job and learning in the classroom. Listed below are the Apprenticeship frameworks for this sector, which when completed will give you a Level 2 qualification in the form of a BTEC, Diploma or NVQ:
    International Trade and Logistics Operations • Warehousing and Storage • Logistics Operations • Rail Services • Rail Engineering (Track) • Rail Infrastructure Engineering • Driving Goods Vehicles • Bus and Coach Engineering and Maintenance • Commercial Moving • Mail and Package Distribution • Port Operations • Traffic Office

    Advanced Apprenticeships

    These are equivalent to A-Levels and can usually be joined after you complete the associated Intermediate Apprenticeship. Advanced Apprenticeships are perfect for those who want a practical role as they learn while gaining relevant employment experience. People with Advanced Apprenticeships often progress up the career ladder faster than those without, because the skills that they learn are more suited to management or supervisory roles. Here are some of the Apprenticeship Frameworks for this sector, completing any of these will result in a Level 3 qualification such as a BTEC, NVQ or Diploma.
    Warehousing and Storage • Logistics Operations • Rail Services • Driving Goods Vehicles • Bus and Coach Engineering and Maintenance • Rail Traction and Rolling Stock • Purchasing and Supply Management


    A-Levels are the most popular route into University and are sought after by most employers. The following A-levels provide a great path into this sector:
    English Language • Maths • IT • Geography • Business Studies • Foreign Languages • Chemistry • Physics • Technology

    Foundation Degrees

    A foundation degree combines the University lifestyle with practical, hands on work. It’s basically a cross between an Apprenticeship and an Honours Degree. They are both used as gateway qualifications to a full time Degree because they count towards the first two years of your Honours Degree. Foundation Degrees normally take about two years to complete and you will be in both the work place and on the university site. There are some very specialized degrees available, such as Air Transport Management.

    More Info

    Transport & Logistics

    Case Study

    Transport & Logistics

    Kat Horsley, Operations Manager, Easy as HGV

    After a few years searching for her vocation – working as a travel agent, a retail manager, and a promoter of rock and metal club nights – word of mouth led Kat to her career in logistics. A friend tipped her off about a job as trainee operations manager at Easy As HGV.

    “I started off here licking envelopes and look where I am today four years later!”

    Kat joined a company with only four employees, but with her help, Easy As HGV has gone from strength to strength and is outgrowing its office. Specialising in nationwide HGV training, the company now employs 40 people in a range of roles from training to marketing and sales.

    Kat is keen to encourage women and young people into the industry. In the last four years, the number of women employed at Easy As HGV has grown from 1 to 11. Her advice? “Don’t be afraid to think creatively – if something doesn’t work, pool resources with others to change it for the
    better. That’s the spirit of this industry. And get a good pair of
    flat shoes – you’re going to need them!”