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LEP supported conference a success for Cumbrian transport employers

The chairman of a transport group representing local employers says its summer conference in May was a huge success and delivered tangible benefits around skills and compliance to transport operators in Cumbria.

Cumbria Transport Group (CTG) welcomed over 50 guests to its inaugural transport and logistics conference at Cumbria LEP business and conference centre in Penrith where chairman Neil Robinson introduced a number of exclusive guest speakers.

Craig Ivison, head of skills at Cumbria LEP, explained where skills gaps could be expected due to a declining working age population in Cumbria and measures that could be taken to proactively address the situation.

Research director at University of Cumbria Professor Frank Peck gave an in-depth presentation on the issues facing local transport employers and explained how the sector, which has seen recent growth, is a significant employer and contributor to the local economy.

However, the key speaker was North West Traffic Commissioner Simon Evans. He presented advice to transport operators on how to avoid flouting rules and ensuing public inquiries and covered hot topics around cheating devices, driver training deadlines and using self-employed driving staff.

An expert panel then hosted questions from the audience around legal, training and compliance issues before an opportunity for some useful networking over lunch.

CTG represents Cumbrian companies operating in the freight and passenger transport industries and was created to drive forward employment opportunities, promote career and skills development and to influence transport policy.

Members include AW Jenkinson, Burridge Transport, Carlisle City Council, SP Training, Stobart Group and Wm Armstrong. The group is free to join and further details can be obtained from

Neil Robinson, Cumbria Transport Group chairman, said: “The huge success of our inaugural Cumbria Transport Group conference was underpinned by a number of quality guest speakers and attendees representing employers across a diverse range of businesses operating within the important transport and logistics sector in Cumbria.

“The conference provided essential, credible and current advice for anyone operating a fleet of vehicles and delivered a solid platform for the group to expand both its membership and benefits to employers.”

Craig Ivison, head of skills at Cumbria LEP, said: “Cumbria’s transport and logistics sector has significant growth potential. This was reflected by the attendance of over 50 employers at the event. Cumbria LEP is working closely with logistics training providers and employers to improve technical skills, workforce development and recruitment in the sector.

“We have a transport and logistics employer sector panel, part of the £8.5m European Social Fund project, The Edge, to address key issues such as driver vacancies, a significantly ageing driver workforce and improving the sector’s image for young people in schools and those looking for a second or different career.”

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