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New partnership drives strategic skills development in logistics and transport sector

A new partnership between The Open University (OU) and The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT) aims to develop strategic and leadership skills within the sector.

The triple-accredited Open University Business School (OUBS) delivers an established MBA (Master of Business Administration) qualification. The school has a global network of more than 100,000 alumni in 121 countries, including over 27,000 MBA graduates.

Liz Ponting, Sector Lead for Transport and Logistics at the OU, has been working with CILT(UK) to support skills development of its diverse and varied membership of employers and individuals, working across several different industries.

CILT(UK) has now agreed to accredit a supply chain and logistics pathway of the MBA. This means successful students will gain the knowledge requirement to meet the standards of Chartered Member with CILT(UK) – demonstrating sector-specific skills and knowledge.

CILT(UK) identified the elective modules in Sustainable creative management and Supply chain management as the MBA pathway that would give leaders in the sector the overarching knowledge to understand how supply chains work and how managers can innovative in a sustainable manner.

Liz Ponting
Sector Lead for Transport and Logistics, The Open University

CILT(UK) has developed a competency framework to help members assess and address their skills and training requirements. As well as the technical skills required to work across supply chain functions, the competency framework highlights the core transferable competence areas of efficiency, quality and risk; data and technology; and leadership, management and engagement. The organisation accredits a number of degrees from several institutions to upskill and reskill existing staff to solve members’ recruitment challenges.

“Traditional educational models don’t always work in our sector and people are changing how, where and when they learn,” said Tania Barker, Director of Education and Professional Standards at CILT(UK). “When it comes to strategic leadership, this MBA pathway is attractive to a wide demographic and is delivered via The Open University’s flexible model that will resonate with our members and develop effective leaders.” 

Bjorn Claes, Teaching Director for Postgraduate Programmes, who worked with Liz on mapping the MBA curriculum to the CILT(UK) competency framework, said: “The OU’s MBA is a reflective qualification and helps students develop new skills that will help them face the various challenges facing transport and logistic organisations."

There is a real need for skilled strategic leaders in the sector and over the last year we have created four new faculty roles to meet the needs of developing the school’s curriculum further in this sector. All roles have been filled by academics from outside of the UK, bringing a truly diverse mix and approach to global supply chain challenges.

The OU is looking forward to its partnership with CILT (UK) and continuing to support both its members, and the sector as a whole, deal with many challenges over the last couple of years and into the future.

Bjorn Claes
Teaching Director for Postgraduate Programmes, The Open University

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