A well-trained transport freight industry is still crucial even when times are tough, according to the British International Freight Association (BIFA).

The association has come out strongly in support of maintaining education levels in the industry, following the accreditation given to its training programme by the Department of Transport on 23 March.

Investing in properly trained staff is crucial to any business’ survival strategy, especially with the economic chill being felt across the business world, according to the association.

BIFA director general Peter Quantrill said that the advantages of putting time and effort into staff training speak for themselves.

“Employees gain greater confidence and undertake their work with fewer costly errors,” he said. “Improved customer service cements existing business relationships and helps retain customers. Staff and managers respond to training investment with higher morale and greater job satisfaction, which in turn is reflected in higher staff retention.”

BIFA’s training programme was submitted for approval under the new Air Cargo Security syllabus, meaning that all BIFA air cargo security courses comply with the new syllabus.

The new syllabus, introduced in 2008, sets out new levels of training for staff involved in the handling and documentation of goods destined for export by air. All staff holding existing certificates at Levels 1, 2, 3 or 4 must migrate to the new syllabus.

The new syllabus also makes it clear that all air cargo security training must be refreshed every two years, removing the ambiguity surrounding refresher training at Levels 3 and 4 in the past.

By Daniel Garrun.