The South African Association of Freight Forwarders (SAAFF) has opened a training academy (SAAFFTA) in an effort to address the skills shortage in the logistics industry.
“By 2030, demand for skilled workers will outstrip supply, resulting in a global talent shortage of more than 85.2-million people,” says the association.
“In the logistics industry, this is already being felt. South Africa is experiencing a widening logistics skills gap, which is severely impacting the competitiveness of the country’s economy and trade.”
SAAFFTA is a level-one empowered, majority black-owned learning institution for professionals and businesses, offering training solutions and capacity building interventions for the transport, logistics and supply-chain industries.
“SAAFFTA has been established to first and foremost remedy the lack of skills that is apparent within the supply-chain business environment,” says SAAFFTA director Jerann Naidu.
“SAAFFTA aims to set the benchmark for industry best-practice by linking industry experts, relevant curricula and cutting-edge learning technologies and methodologies to cultivate local talent that can compete on the global stage.
“Offering a range of locally and internationally accredited qualifications and programmes, the academy also provides bespoke entrepreneurship development for small, medium-sized and microenterprises within the sectors,” he explains.
Naidu adds that SAAFFTA has a collective of industry experts who align the academy’s training to industry needs.
“Our approach to education and training is underpinned by a blended learning philosophy that uses in-class, virtual/online and workplace simulation tools that reinforce the subject matter taught to learners, with real-world experiences.”
The use of a work experience model producing work-ready candidates is one of the factors that differentiate SAAFFTA, notes Naidu.
“We want to add value to the industry. We do not want to bleed millions of rands in penalties, costs and delays, but rather contribute to the building of a resilient logistics network that is the heartbeat of our economy.”
The academy offers numerous programmes, including those of the World Customs Organisation, the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, the Federation of International Freight Forwarding Associations, Wisetech Academy, the World Trade Organisation, the International Civil Aviation Organisation and the International Air Transport Association.
SAAFFTA is accredited by the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations, the South African Qualifications Authority, as well as some Sector Education and Training Authorities.