A NEW course aimed at gearing up youngsters for thousands of jobs being created in south Essex will be launched later this year.

Between them, the sprawling logistics park at the vast London Gateway port, in Stanford-le- Hope, and a similar distribution centre at the Port of Tilbury will create at least 13,000 jobs.

And to ensure our youngsters have the edge when it comes to competing for roles such as transport managers and supply chain analysts, the region’s biggest college is starting a course aimed at teaching students all they need to know about getting things from A to B – whether that’s by road, rail, sea or air.

The South Essex College course will be led by Mark Bentley, who has enjoyed a long career in logistics working for Royal Mail and Unipart among others before turning to teaching.

It will start in September at the college’s new £45million campus in Grays.

Mark explained: “Logistics is about moving things from A to B.

“Everything we touch or deal with has got to have a supply chain, it’s got to have a set of transportation processes.

“The precursor for this course is getting the message out. It reflects what the area needs and where the jobs are as logistics doesn’t get bigger than it is in Essex right now.

“This course will give learners the platform, and the springboard, to take opportunities as they come to the area and it also breeds fresh new talent for logistics companies already working in the area.”

It’s not just at the ports where jobs will become available either.

Mark predicts empty warehouses in Basildon could soon be used by companies as distribution centres.

He said: “Basildon is very well geographically placed to take on firms wishing to set up centres in the area, but that can’t or won’t use the logistics parks, though still want to be near the port.

“The development of London Gateway and the logistics parks in the area brings a real focus to the logistics industry.

“But that comes with expectation and that expectation will only be fulfilled by the skill and efficiency of the workforce.”