Ticking time bomb of logistics’ skills deficit

By Ruth Edwards

- Last updated on GMT

Edwards: 'time is running out before the sector experiences a major skills deficit'
Edwards: 'time is running out before the sector experiences a major skills deficit'
Ruth Edwards, business manager at Talent in Logistics, discusses the difficulties in recruiting within supply chain roles.

The logistics industry is facing a significant recruitment problem, with the potential to cause the nation to grind to a halt. These are the findings of a new report by Talent in Logistics,​ which reveals that only 8% of young people consider the sector an attractive career option, while 42% don’t even know what logistics is.

With only 9% of the current logistics workforce aged under 25 – and 45% aged over 45 – time is running out before the sector experiences a major skills deficit. Yet, the industry contributes £120.7bn to the UK economy every year, with, for example, 60% of fruit and veg imported into the UK via air freight, large goods vehicles, ship and rail.

Extent of the crisis

Following a survey of nearly 500 students and teachers attending the WorldSkills UK Live exhibition in November last year, the report, Changing Perceptions: Attracting Young Talent Into Logistics, highlights the extent of the crisis and provides actionable insights to help business leaders attract and retain millennials.

A quarter (26%) of the young people quizzed said they did not believe there was gender diversity within the logistics sector, and only 18% had been spoken to at school or sixth form about logistics as a career path.

Moreover, most were unaware of the variety of roles available within logistics, ranging from facilities managers and data analysts to freight co-ordinators and materials planners.

Perceptions of the industry

The perception and image of logistics is arguably the biggest problem facing the sector when trying to recruit new talent, but the biggest hurdle is the sector’s ageing population and the lack of millennials coming up through the ranks to replace them.

It is hoped the report will help raise awareness of the need to safeguard against the impending skills deficit, recommending effective recruitment strategies to help businesses attract and retain millennials.

Related topics People & Skills Supply Chain Brexit

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