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All the talk about Brexit might be expected to have shaken business confidence but all the evidence so far is that demand for supply chain professionals is actually increasing.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

Malory Davies FCILT, Editor.

The latest evidence comes from Robert Walters, the recruitment specialist, which has just produced figures showing that the number of procurement and supply roles increased by 43 per cent in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same time last year.

This follows figures from Bis Henderson in March which showed that logistics recruitment in the second half of was up 20 per cent on the year before.

The Walters study found that mid-level positions made up the largest percentage of advertised roles, with managers in purchasing and logistics accounting for 36 per cent of vacancies, followed by 25 per cent for junior buyer positions.

Walter argues that as Britain prepares to negotiate new trade agreements outside the European Union, employers are aware that new challenges, as well as new opportunities, will appear.

“As a result, demand for mid-level procurement and supply chain specialists who can play a role in developing new strategies for taking advantage of these opportunities has risen.”

Bis Henderson highlighted the shortage of talent coming through the pipeline pointing out that the best candidates could now command significantly more than market average salaries.

Walters also highlight the fact that employers are prepared to compete to secure the best talent.

All of a sudden, it seems that now is a good time to be a supply chain professional – but this is no time for smugness.

The coming years are going to be challenging for companies all across Europe as Brexit talks progress and much of responsibility for making new trading arrangements work will fall upon the profession.

It’s good that the value of supply chain is being recognised, but the challenge ahead should not be under-estimated.

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