Wednesday 26th Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

Act NOW. The skills shortage will not disappear

The skills shortage within the logistics industry is not something that has happened overnight. It has been getting worse every year for at least a decade. It first raised its ugly head with a dearth of heavy goods vehicle drivers and has rapidly spread to other areas of the supply chain. Various organisations have tried to solve the situation, but to no avail. The latest scheme has been introduced by Durham Logistics College, which has launched a new IT learning facility. So what, you might say. But this is a scheme with a difference.

It is open to the community, not just those taking logistics courses at the college. This has to be good as it might just encourage young blood to consider logistics as a career opportunity. Let’s hope so. The workforce in the transport and logistics sector is ageing which is the cause of the skills shortage in the first place. These people must also be retained. Their experience alone is vital to the industry and could slow the skills shortage for a while.

Yet there is widespread age discrimination in organisations within the transport and logistics sector, according to research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. According to the research, more than half of respondents said they had suffered age discrimination through job applications while 40% feel their promotion chancecs have been hindered.

The institute says that the results of the survey show that both individuals and companies “need to consider a step-change in how they perceive age and careers so that changes in demographics are met with a more flexible approach to career planning.

It seems clear that there is a ready pool of SKILLED logistics experts out there that want to stay in the industry but are not being allowed to.

Surely companies must take advantage of this as a way to overcome the skills shortage certainly in the short term. After all would it not generate just a bit more time to encourage the younger generation into the industry.