Peter Hawkins and Arnon Melo

Specialized professional training can open the door in logistics.

Peter Hawkins and Arnon Melo

Peter Hawkins and Arnon Melo

For the first time in Canada, a logistics company is authorized by the government to provide specialized training.

MELLOHAWK Logistics is well known in the Canadian Portuguese-speaking community offering cargo transportation services and moves to Brazil, Portugal and more than 80 countries. This year, in addition to continuing working in this area, entrepreneurs Peter Hawkins and Arnon Melo will face a new challenge: to offer specialized training through their new business unit, the “MELLOHAWK Logistics International Training Center”.

After four years providing all necessary documentation, they finally got the accreditation from the “Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.” This will be a great opportunity for those looking to start a career in an industry that grows increasingly in need of skilled professionals. With all the classes ready to start in June, the entrepreneurs spoke to Wave on the project.

Lab Class Peter 3

The Training Center computer lab has individual desktops ready to support the students during the e-learning modules.

Wave: First, explain why you decided to create this training center.
Peter: There are several reasons. First, this is a logistics company that has always offered training. Throughout our history, we have had in our office several groups of students as visitors and trainees. We usually have 1 to 2 interns working indirectly or directly in our office every semester. Because their feedback is always about how much we could add to their professional life, we decided to work further and apply for the official license to offer training in a planned and open way; it was a natural extension of what we already do.

A lot of people call me and ask for an opportunity to come here, learn, have Canadian experience … and now we can share with this several people in a structured way.

Arnon: I’m a product of a course like this and the opportunity that someone gave me when I started this career. I had a boss who gave me the chance to put into practice what I had learned in college. So more than a new segment of our company, what we do is help those who want to enter this area. A lot of people call me and ask for an opportunity to come here, learn, have Canadian experience … and now we can share with this several people in a structured way.

Wave: What are the courses offered?
Peter: The program includes 4 parts: Transport and International Trade, Essentials of Freight Forwarding, Specialized Freight Services, and Supply Chain Management and Marketing. All very detailed, from how to measure a box and make the appropriate package for transportation to the international laws applicable. We also have a fifth stage, which is very important to enter the labour market: How to behave professionally in Canada, starting with the way to do a handshake in a job interview, to techniques on how to start a new career. I always say that we cannot give an employer the reason to say “no”!

Arnon: The behavior in the business world is very different in North America in relation to Brazil. There are cultural issues that we need to teach, including body language. And the great advantage of our program is the chance to put into practice right here at MELLOHAWK all the content from the classes. The theory will be in the morning and in the afternoon students will have the opportunity to get practical experience in our company, as well as, visits to the airport cargo terminal, the port area and customs, to see closely how everything works.

Wave: What is the student profile for these courses?
Peter: Any professional interested in logistics over 18 years of age who enjoys mathematics as there are many calculations in logistics, who is looking for a quick training to get a good job.

Arnon: The course lasts three months, so you do not need a student visa. With a tourist visa you can be accepted. But knowledge of English is very important.

It took us four years to get the government’s permission, and all this time, people with whom I talked about the program were always excited about it and it encouraged us.

Wave: What is the expectation for the start of school?
Peter: Officially, our first class will begin in June, and the registrations are already open. It took us four years to get the government’s permission, and all this time, people with whom I talked about the program were always excited about it and it encouraged us, because here we have the possibility to do the training and still offer experience and motivation to new professionals.

Arnon: We have a lot of expectations because it was missing! No Canadian logistics company has an educational project like this. We are the pioneers and I’m sure the demand is great because we even have a list of students seeking us before wanting to do a course with us. Now the opportunity is there, just take a look!

The “MELLOHAWK Logistics International Training Center” will offer hands-on and virtual classes to obtain a certificate from CIFFA – Canadian International Freight Forwarders Association, and, where applicable, a diploma from FIATA – International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations. The student will also receive a reference letter from the company, referring to the simultaneous practical stage added to the lectures at the MELLOHAWK Logistics office. There are 12 weeks of classes, full time, maximum 6 students in most classes. All information on how to register, costs and timing of the classes are available on mellohawk.com/training

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