With games towards a new approach on the logistics job market – Flows

VIL, the innovation center for logistics, will attract, test and train new logistics employees through games. Through a personal, virtual game formula, a prospective employee gets to know the operation of a warehouse.

Figures from VDAB from mid-2022 show that vacancies for warehouse workers are at the top of the top 20 unfilled positions in logistics. VIL now wants to introduce potential employees to operations in a logistics environment in a very intuitive, playful way using a virtual game. The deployment of disadvantaged groups in logistics operations is not so obvious. Organizing courses for non-Dutch speakers and low-skilled people is not easy and takes a lot of time for our own employees. This is exactly what VIL wants to focus on.

“Our focus is primarily on people from vulnerable groups who are not used to working with computers or, for example, speak a foreign language,” says Dirk Jocquet, project manager at VIL. “We often see that they have a certain basis for working with a computer, but it is difficult to learn and interpret. Through ‘gamification’ we let companies discover how games, digital media and various learning and management platforms can be used to educate employees in an accessible way and include them in the company culture.”

Reaching out to disadvantaged groups

It is also not easy to reach these people, but VIL wants to use the Flemish Employment Office (VDAB) and various temporary agencies for this. “Many companies already have an internal temporary office. It is often the first point of contact, and such an office also knows how to reach the disadvantaged groups,” says Jocquet. “At the moment, there are a lot of companies that really can’t find extra people. This could be a way to help people find work in an environment where they need a lot of workers.”

Anything but boring

Participating company IKEA strongly believes in the benefits of this approach. “Successful and sustainable gamification can make employees fans of training and make training accessible to everyone, not only to get these employees on board, but also to keep them enthusiastically on board. The basis must therefore be a good and easy learning platform that is anything but boring,” says Pascal Dingens, project participant and team leader Warehouse Logistics at IKEA.

Other companies that have already committed to using gamification include: Colruyt Group (Solucious), Coolblue, Deny Logistics, DSV Solutions, Easy Systems, Honda Motor Europe Logistics, Distribution Benelux Genk, Scania Parts, VDAB, Transport and Storage VPD and Winter.

Training at home

In addition to attracting and testing new people, VIL sees other benefits in using gamification. “At the moment, operational people have to ensure that new people are trained so that the permanent people can no longer focus on their core tasks. Gamification provides training and testing in a digital, virtual way and at the same time relieves your people on the floor,” says Jocquet. “Everyone can complete the training and tests at home via a login. Gamification also offers many opportunities for employees who are already at work. In this way, we can also use this system for recurring safety training, for example.”

Certifications per person

The games are developed in collaboration with UCLL University of Applied Sciences. “They have their own gaming department, XP-Lab. What we want to build is a framework that companies can add their own content to. In this way, each company can personalize its own environment with photo and video material. We want to offer a low-threshold platform that companies can get started with themselves. In addition to the game platform, we also offer a Learning Management System (LMS), where we keep track of all training and certifications per An LMS can then remain active throughout the onboarding process, which often takes several months before someone is hired permanently,” says Jocquet.

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