Industry facing possible skills shortage

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Young managers are the fuel that keeps UK PLC running, says The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK (CILT UK).

It warns that the industry could be facing a worse crisis than the rising petrol prices if it does not engage young people more effectively. CILT (UK) is concerned that the rapidly-maturing workforce needs to engage more with young people to help maintain a steady stream of fresh talent coming into the sector. It is convinced that raising the profile of the profession as a whole, particularly among the young, will help prevent future shortages of skills as well as products and services. It also warns that the UK could be left reeling in the wake of progressive nations like China. While the fuel protests, panic buying and subsequent shortages of petrol may have left some shops briefly short of stock, the Institute believes that failing to bring through more young people could have far more damaging long-term effects.

At its latest President’s Forum, staged at Browns in Covent Garden, the Institute’s senior staff helped launch a bid to make itself and the sector more attractive to people in the early stages of their careers. The session saw advice and hints coming from its more recent recruits. Professor Alan Waller, president of the CILT (UK) chaired the meeting which was also attended by vice president Jim Spittle, chairman Steve Rinsler, chief executive Geoff Newton and past president Richard Hunt. Waller, who chaired the meeting, comments: “Other countries engage and develop their young people so much better than we do here in the UK – we could find ourselves missing out to other nations, particularly in the Far East, if we do not move quickly. Times are changing, and the way we did things thirty years ago is not necessarily the way we should do things in the future.” He also goes on to comment: “People rarely stay in one job for a long time now – they have a life of jobs, not a job for life. The average age of members partly reflects the age of the workforce as a whole, but we need to try and make logistics and transport more appealing to talented graduates and school leavers.”

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