The transport and logistics industry is one of the largest in the UK, find out why more graduates are choosing to get started in a career that takes you places.

Careers in Transport and Logistics

The government is currently investing billions of pounds into enhancing our long-suffering transport network, ranging from constructing a high-speed national rail network to improving our busiest motorways.

As a result of this investment, there are thousands of new job roles being creating for skilled graduates to start a career in the sector. This is because businesses up and down the country rely on logistics companies to procure, store and deliver their products to the right people at the right time cost-effectively and efficiently.

Job opportunities available for graduates to consider within the industry include:

Supply Chain Manager

Responsible for overseeing the various stages of a product’s production, Supply Chain Managers ensure deadlines are met and evaluate the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their production line’s output. They are always looking for ways to streamline the production process and also play a vital role in negotiating new or existing contracts with employers.

Logistics and Distribution Manager

Logistics and Distribution managers organise the storage and distribution of goods. They hold responsibility for an organisation’s stock control and warehousing whilst coordinating the transportation of its products from one or multiple locations across the country and the rest of the world.

Civil Engineer

Civil Engineering involves the design and construction of major transportation projects, including bridges and tunnels, and workers generally fall into consulting or contracting categories. They will undertake site investigations using a range of modern technology to analyse the suitability of a location selected for construction and use complex calculations to determine the viability of a design.

Passenger Transport Manager

Using their organisational skills, Passenger Transport Managers coordinate the day-to-day running of private and public transport systems, covering bus, rain, air and shipping services. Their focus is to ensure quality remains high, staff follow safety procedures, and operations are running smoothly and efficiently.

Airline Pilot

Although many people have aspirations of becoming an airline pilot, the industry is known for being highly competitive and expensive to get into. However, with demand for pilots increasing, new schemes are being created to help bridge the gap to employment, and many airlines provide their own recruitment programmes to acquire new talent.

Skills and Qualifications needed

Job roles within the Transport and Logistics sector are available to all graduates, although several employers may request a degree in a specific subject area, such as transport or management. Some other roles may require more specific qualifications, such as a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) for drivers or an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) if you want to become a pilot.

In general, however, most recruiters in the industry will look for a graduate with the same similar set of skills:

  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Strong leadership abilities
  • Knowledge of a range of IT systems
  • Experience in planning a range of projects
  • Good communication skills, both verbal and written
  • The ability to problem-solve under pressure
  • A positive attitude to their work

Opportunities for Graduates

Numerous well-known employers offer graduate schemes in logistics, supply chain and distribution. Some examples include:

  • Boots run a two-year supply chain graduate scheme for any candidate with a 2:1 degree in a relevant subject, and participants will experience various aspects of their retail supply chain and distribution process.
  • Network Rail offers one of the Times Top 100 graduate schemes, providing a wide variety of roles from Civil Engineering to Project management, each providing valuable on-the-job training and an excellent starting salary of around £27,000.

British Airways have a cadet programme aimed at graduates who have ambitions of becoming a fully qualified airline pilot, operating out of one of their three specially designed flight-school locations across the UK.