15 września 2016 | Boortmeerbeek (BE)

Thomas More Hogeschool and ORTEC: partners to provide practical training to logistics managers

Thomas More is a Belgian-based union of universities of applied sciences formed as part of the Association of Leuven University. Its institutions provide professional training to students by teaching them practical skills they can use as soon as they graduate. As part of its ongoing commitment to providing high-quality, innovative and practical education, the educational institution’s Logistics Management program recently began working closely with ORTEC. This program was recently overhauled, which saw the number of first-year students double. The alliance with ORTEC as a Partner in Education is expected to make the program even more appealing to students and even better equipped to accommodate future changes.

Competing for logistics talent

Peter Verspecht, Program Manager for the Logistics Management Program and Lecturer in Supply Chain Management: “With the demand in the corporate sector – among both logistics companies and their customers – for young graduates trained in logistics currently being very high, we are proud to say that an impressive 90% of our graduates will be employed by 1 September of this year. This clearly shows there’s fierce competition out there for graduates in possession of these types of skills.” Although the program is already extremely popular among students and corporations alike, Peter Verspecht explains why it’s nevertheless smart to continue anticipating new trends and developments in the industry: “Corporations are looking for people who have the skills to fill the jobs of the future, which involves the use of the latest advances in digital and other technologies.”

Logistics evolution creates need for new skills

Trends and developments in e-commerce are creating an evolution in the logistics industry that has greatly increased the demand for new skills. Peter Verspecht: “Today’s logistics managers must be able to efficiently keep track of the entire supply chain and be able to optimize all the elements involved. They should also have the skills to make data management analyses, present them in a way that’s easy to understand to their audience, and use the information gleaned to propose improvements. And they need to do this both for their own company and for clients and business associates. This means there’s a growing demand for people with consultancy skills, and we’re pleased that ORTEC has proven to be a partner that can provide them with these skills.” In addition to teaching consultancy skills, ORTEC also trains the students to use optimization tools. They are learning to optimize journeys using real-time data, so they learn to quickly make new tactical decisions whenever any changes occur and to develop improvement proposals, including for the optimization of the warehouse supply chain. 

Thomas More trains logistics managers at ORTEC, Brussels Airport Cargo and Nike ELC 

Jan Vandenhout, Regional Manager for ORTEC in Belgium, explains that the partnership with Thomas More is by no means an exception: “We invest substantial time and energy in students and education, and since it gives us great satisfaction to provide recent graduates and entry-level workers with the expertise and experience they need, we view this partnership with Thomas More Hogeschool in Mechelen as a “triple-win” situation in that all three parties concerned stand to benefit. Students get to acquire practical experience so they can get a feel for what interests them and can make career decisions on that basis. Thomas More has been highly successful in preparing its students for their careers and students, in turn, help us and our clients to find fresh new ways to improve their business processes.” Nike ELC recently became a Partner in Education for the Logistics Management program on Thomas More’s Geel campus. “On the Mechelen campus we currently maintain close partnerships with Brussels Airport, Air Cargo Mechelen, DB Schenker and now with ORTEC, which clearly shows we are ready to support the logistics managers of the future in achieving their very best,” says Peter Verspecht.