Specialist 3pl logistics provider Europa Warehouse in Corby is taking steps to bring 30 new members of staff on board as part of the drive to retain local workers.
Over 300 staff work out of Europa Warehouse’s newest and largest £60m, 750,000 sq. ft facility at Midlands Logistics Park, which has been operating for almost two years.
The team there provides ecommerce fulfilment for several major blue-chip brands, delivering a tailored service and using an impressive £11m automation system to ensure business-critical operations meet customer demands.
It’s most recent contract agreement with a key business in the food and drink industry – the UK’s largest manufacturing sector – marks an important achievement for the high-tech Corby facility, as it continues to expand its offer across one of the most varied and intricate supply chains.
The 30-strong team will boost existing operations in a number of roles within the warehouse. The goal is to nurture a robust, long-term partnership with all its customers, and having a focused, engaged team is fundamental to achieving this.
Europa’s latest recruitment announcement comes amid workforce concerns recently raised by Britain’s leading trade organisation, the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA). It warned a 34 per cent forklift truck driver labour shortfall following Brexit and Covid was impacting more on the warehouse and logistics sector than the well-publicised HGV driver deficit.
Europa Worldwide Group – the parent company of the Europa Warehouse division – has been at the forefront of tackling these wider staffing issues in recent years. It has a board endorsed Human Resources (HR) strategy to provide job security by making temporary staff permanent, recruiting local people and nurturing talent whilst also boosting the economies of areas surrounding its sites.
Speaking about the onboarding process, Arron Delamare, Head of Operations at Europa Warehouse, explained: “We’re delighted to be converting many of our temporary workers across to permanent positions within our workforce, whilst also offering these job opportunities out to the external employment market locally.
“The chance to join an innovative and forward-thinking business which is at the forefront of the warehouse and logistics sector is one which we hope our applicants will relish. We work hard to deliver a great orientation process to all our new recruits, so they are able to learn more about the organisation, its mission, values, and culture, and feel a part of the team over the longer-term.”
As reported by the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), the logistics sector is predicted to face a massive 40,0000 workforce shortfall by 2026 if action is not taken to address pay and working conditions. Europa is keen to dispel this view by building up a culture within the organisation that embraces change and shows its staff that they are an invaluable part of the next generation of logistics.
To support this, it has joined forces with other industry leaders to back the newly launched Generation Logistics campaign. This has been spearheaded by the UK Government, Logistics UK, and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) to shine a light on the sector and highlight the importance of its workers.
Across Europa, career progression is a strategic priority, and all staff are encouraged to reach their full potential through regular 1-1’s with their line managers and via the more formal appraisal processes. Many team members at Corby have been promoted because their talents have been recognised and management is keen to nurture their skills.
At the Northamptonshire site, other initiatives have also been introduced to demonstrate how valued the workforce are, including team-building events and a ‘Free Food Friday’ reward. This involves staff coming together once a month, at any point during the working day, to share a meal provided by external caterers and chat to their colleagues socially.
Across the business and at all sites, a “Whisper” initiative has been launched, to quietly recognise those who have been nominated by their teams with a little chocolate treat for going the extra mile in their every-day tasks.
More formally, all members of staff are also able to put forward suggestions to Europa’s board on a regular basis about how the business might improve in certain areas. These are reviewed by the directors and implemented as appropriate, showing commitment from the top to ensuring consistent improvements at all levels. All winning ideas are rewarded, incentivising staff to share their ideas and be a part of Europa’s ongoing evolution.
Dionne Redpath, Europa Worldwide Group’s Chief Operating Officer and Warehouse Division Director, said: “It’s a really exciting time for our Corby facility as well as the business as a whole, and the career prospects at Europa are second to none. We’ll always welcome people who want to grow and thrive with us. Having an engaged team is vital to the ongoing expansion of our business and supports our drive to retain and grow our client base.”
“Growing our team is a major priority, especially at a time when overall workforce numbers within the sector are stretched. We want to show people that Europa is a great place to work, because it invests in its staff and its facilities. By stimulating a greater connectivity to our strategic purpose, we hope they feel more connected to our purpose, our accomplishments, and to one another.”
Europa Warehouse provides a range of value-added capabilities at its award-winning, integrated sites in Corby, Dartford, and Birmingham, with a combined 1,072,000 sq. ft of dedicated warehouse and logistics space. It is one of three divisions at Europa Worldwide Group, the others being its Air & Sea and Road freight, which employs over 1,300 people worldwide.
All are Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) approved with system integration and bespoke IT solutions. Each provides a range of services, including e-commerce fulfilment, production services, inventory management, packing, labelling, special deliveries, final assembly, quality control and critical parts management.
Europa is one of the most advanced logistics firms operating today across 21 sites in the UK and overseas. It aims to set the pace in the market at a time of immense change and when there is greater recognition of the vital role that transport, logistics and warehouses plays in the economy.