Aspire was established in 2009 with the long term objective of raising the standard of the logistics and transport profession by encouraging new entrants and further developing existing talent. Through the generosity of the industry, Aspire is able to help people who would not otherwise have access to such support to improve their skills and fast-track their potential.



Aspire focuses on the logistics and transport industry, which represents around one in eight of the UK’s total workforce. The sector ensures that our infrastructure runs effectively and that businesses can move essential goods from point of production to the end consumer. The route to future commercial success lies in training and developing talent to achieve professional excellence and champion the future of the industry.


At this year’s Corporate Member Day, Aspire, the CILT Careers Foundation, which provides funded opportunities for education, training and development, was in the spotlight. Paul Durkin, Chair, Aspire, told delegates: ‘Aspire is very much focused on those people who are at the start of their careers and the start of their journey. There are a couple of things that I want to achieve as Chairman of Aspire. First, I want all of CILT’s Corporate Members to leave this day feeling that they are advocates for Aspire; second, I want Aspire to be a truly outstanding leading part of our future as an industry and to do that we need your involvement.

‘One of the things we did in my first Chair meeting was to think about how we can raise the profile of Aspire. The first idea we had was to get somebody involved who could talk about their journey and what Aspire has done for them. It is my pleasure then, to introduce you to Joga Sandhu.’

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you all my story and how the amazing foundation, Aspire, has helped me to achieve more than I could possibly imagine and changed my life for the better.

My professional career within this industry started in 1997, when I was 17 years of age. Alongside studying at college, I was working as a warehouse operative within the grocery sector. At that point in my life I did not think that I would make it in an industry that is so demanding and challenging.

Whilst completing qualifications in computing, which had no relevance to my career, I managed to secure my first management role in 2002. This role gave me my first insight into managing various departments within a warehouse and how to manage people. It was in this role that I realised this was the career path for me, I felt real satisfaction in meeting objectives and hitting targets while working with a diverse range of people.

My industry experience grew, and before I knew it I was working on numerous contracts around Northamptonshire. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with a diverse range of people on different operations and challenges.

While working as a warehouse team manager from 2008 to 2015 and after pursuing various avenues for further development, I decided to take control of my own destiny and look externally to develop myself. I had often heard senior managers speak about CILT and the benefits of being a member. After looking through the Institute’s qualifications, I came across the Level 5 Diploma in Operations Management. The course was perfect for me and upon completion would surely help me raise my profile, open doors and bring down the barriers and challenges that stood in the way of my development.

I became worried that I wouldn’t be able to pay for the course. I decided to speak to CILT and ask if there was any funding available for young professionals like me who were struggling due to financial difficulties and the constraints of the economic climate. The Institute was a great help and encouraged me to apply to Aspire for funding. Aspire can help people who would not otherwise have access to such support that would improve their skills and fast track their potential. Within a couple of weeks I received my course materials and I was ready to start my studies. At that point I was taken aback, excited and shocked that this great Institute had offered me this life-changing funding.

The team at CILT and Aspire were so supportive throughout the whole process, offering words of encouragement and motivation. As well as the course materials provided, I gained access to The Knowledge Centre, headed by Peter Huggins, who was always a great help in directing me to sources of information required for me to complete my course.

In 2018, I completed my studies and I gained my Level 5 qualification. Since completion, I have found myself furthering my career. I now have a mentor, Michael Price, who could see the passion and desire I have to pursue my career aspirations. With Michael’s guidance, coaching and mentoring, I have now secured a role as a transport manager that has helped me to gain further insight into the business of Wincanton, and how to become a supply chain professional. All of this has only been made available thanks to the opportunities that Aspire has given me.

Corporate Members and through contributions from CILT members have provided funding to Aspire, and as a result has helped inspire individuals like me and given us an opportunity to develop within this great industry. Your contributions have changed the lives of many individuals like me, all with their own unique stories to tell. With continued support, we can ensure that the profession is upskilled and giving opportunities to a new generation of individuals who are inspired and skilled in a profession that is ever changing and evolving.

Because you all have inspired me, and because Aspire has given me this opportunity, today I pledge the following: Throughout my career I will make myself available to CILT and its charitable organisation Aspire. I will make myself available to serve this great organisation and to provide a self-service to help inspire others and help change people’s lives for the better.

When I walked through those doors I knew nothing; now I know a little more and for much of it I have you all to thank.

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