Tuesday 23rd Jul 2019 - Logistics Manager Magazine

Recruitment problems: perhaps they all want to be train drivers

Sixty years ago, like most young boys, I wanted to be a train driver – but my parents were determined that I should go to university and get “good” job.

Turns out that train driver was a better choice than either my father or mother imagined. A new survey by RS Components put train and tram drivers in the top ten salaries – ahead of senior professionals in education and just behind senior police officers.

Malory Davies, Editor.

Perhaps more significantly, the average salary for a train driver, at £53,403, is significantly ahead of that for managers in transport and distribution (£38,945), lorry drivers (£29,738), warehousing managers (£29,703), van drivers (£22,250), and fork lift truck drivers (£22,189).

It’s also more than the average for newspaper editors (£37,377).

RS Components analysed data from the Office for National Statistics to produce its list of best and worst paying jobs. Not surprisingly company chief executives came out top with an average of £97,083 – some £67,000 more than the national average. Right at the bottom of the list came bar staff, earning just £15,000 a year.

In fact, RS Components found 57 per cent of the 270 occupations covered earned less than the national average. And it found, that on average, men earned £4,144 a year more than women.

This is all very interesting, but does it have any relevance to the everyday reality of logistics operations?

Well, the jobs market is a competitive one: companies are not just competing against each other to recruit, they are competing against other industries for talent. So it is worth knowing what those other industries are paying: for example, construction workers earn an average of £2,700 a year than forklift truck drivers.

Last month the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport produced a report which suggested that more than half of logistics companies expect the skills shortage to get worse over the next five years, and it highlighted the fact that 25 per cent of companies surveyed cited low wages as a common challenge to recruitment.

This survey could be a starting point for looking at where potential recruits might be going. Perhaps they all want to be train drivers…