At the recent African Access National Business Awards – dubbed the Oscars of South African business – IMPERIAL Logistics' won the Logistics Award, for its contribution to addressing the skills gap in the industry through its Fast Forward skills development initiative. Other competitors in this category included McDonalds South Africa, Renault SA, Berco Express, the Automotive Industry Development Centre and the Electoral Commission of South Africa.
The Annual African Access National Business Awards recognise and honour top performers in business - at individual, organisational and governmental level. This year’s 10th annual awards event was hosted by SABC’s Morning Live presenters Leanne Manas and Vuyo Mbuli, and attended by over 500 of South Africa's top business and government figures. IMPERIAL’s Marketing Executive, Michelle Neilson and Training and Development Manager, Colette Wessels, proudly represented IMPERIAL on the night.
IMPERIAL Logistics’ Fast Forward programme aims to grow the South African supply chain industry's skills base, by providing supply chain and logistics education and professional development for current and aspiring supply chain professionals. It receives a significant percentage of IMPERIAL Logistics' total skills development spend, which was increased from just under R37 million in 2009/2010 to R55 million in the 2010/2011 financial year. The Group aims to achieve some very specific outcomes through the programme. IMPERIAL Logistics CEO Marius Swanepoel elaborates: “At a national level, we are striving to address demographic inequities while developing scarce priority skills - industrial engineers, for example, and specialised supply chain management skills. At an industry level, we aim to elevate the visibility of logistics and supply chain management, while at an organisational level, our aim is to give our people access to lifelong learning, thereby ensuring career mobility for them. Through Fast Forward, we are actively pursuing developmental outcomes for our economy, our industry and our people.”
On the industry collaboration and research side, Fast Forward includes a partnership with the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), with which IMPERIAL Logistics is developing supply chain education programmes and coordinating industry research. Final year project coaching and mentorship is also being undertaken, as well as guest lecturing and sponsorships in partnership with tertiary institutions and professional bodies.