A new report by Talent in Logistics reveals the logistics sector has a significant recruitment problem, which could potentially cause the nation to grind to a halt.
Only 8% of young people consider the sector to be an attractive career option and an astounding 42% don’t even know what logistics is.
With only 9% of the current workforce being under 25 – and 45% being over 45 – time is running out for the sector before it experiences a devastating skills deficit.
Nearly 500 students and teachers attending the WorldSkills UK Live exhibition* took part in the Talent in Logistics research, which also reveals significant concerns around diversity, career opportunities and salary.
The research inspired production of the ‘Changing Perceptions: Attracting Young Talent Into Logistics’ whitepaper, which highlights the extent of the crisis and addresses the imminent skills shortage, while providing actionable insights to help business leaders attract and retain millennials.
A quarter (26%) of the young people quizzed by Talent in Logistics said they do not believe there is gender diversity within the logistics sector.
Only 18% have been spoken to at school or Sixth Form about logistics as a career path.
What’s more, most are unaware of the range of roles available within logistics, which can range from facilities managers and data analysts to freight co-ordinators and materials planners.
“The perception of logistics is arguably the biggest problem facing the sector when trying to recruit new talent,” says Ruth Edwards, business manager of Talent in Logistics, which is dedicated to the recruitment, development, engagement and retention of the 2.5 million-plus people working in the logistics sector.
“As an organisation we want to promote the importance of recruiting talent from groups that are currently under-represented in the logistics industry,” she continues.
“It’s only by future-proofing the nation’s currently thriving logistics sector that we can keep the UK moving,” she concludes.
While driver shortages and skills gaps are already taking their toll, 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 Talent in Logistics report will help raise awareness of the need to safeguard against the impending skills deficit, by exploring the reasons millennials so rarely consider logistics as a career and recommending effective recruitment strategies to help businesses attract and retain them.
Ruth added: “We are calling upon the sector and the education system to play their part in ensuring young people are aware of the many amazing opportunities and career paths available within logistics.”
Around 60% of fruit and vegetables are imported into the UK via air freight, LGVs, ship and rail, while more than £10 billion worth of pharmaceuticals are transported into the UK yearly, making logistics among the most vital sectors in the UK and contributing £120.7 billion to the UK economy every year.
*449 students (aged 11 to 20) and 42 teachers at the WorldSkills UK Live exhibition in November 2018.