Increasing demand for logistics specialists

The logistics sector is a fundamental part of Irish economy. Currently 48,800 persons are employed in sector’s core occupations. According to the publication Addressing the Demand for Skills in the Freight Transport, Distribution and Logistics sector in Ireland 2015-2020, issued by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs (EGFSN), February 18th, 2015, the distribution, logistics and freight transport sector will need up to 15,500 extra skilled workers by 2020.

There is demand within the sector for more graduate level entrants to ensure a provision of managers, planners and associated office workers with adequate skills. The use of sophisticated warehouse management systems is increasing the requirement for skilled staff.

UK is facing a similar problem: by 2022 the demand for additional workers is predicted to increase by 50%. Several initiatives have been undertaken by Government, but the project developed by Marks & Spencer logistics skills is an excellent example of how private sector can help tackle the skills shortage problem.

The programme is primarily aimed at young people: school or college students. Staff volunteers take on the roles of Logistics Ambassadors explaining what logistics industry is about, what roles and career opportunities exist in the sector. As a leading sponsor of Business on the Move game held this summer, Marks & Spencer now wants to share the learning benefits and interactive experience with schools and colleges across the country.

They want to engage with students about the future that a career in logistics can provide. Essentially this is a strategic recruitment approach, where instead of waiting for Government programs to bear fruit a business is taking care of its future needs. This could be the way forward for the whole industry.

Here at Hawthorn Logistics we have always looked to grow our talent internally and have an in-house mentor program that to date has seen our staff win major international awards. Yang Lei began life with us as an intern and went on to win the “Shooting Star” award from the IFW. He is now back home in Beijing working for one of China’s largest Port Authorities. Silvia Valles came to us direct from her MA course and within two years was rewarded with one of IATA’s most prestigious awards “Global Young Freight Forwarder”. Silvia has spread her wings and now manages a customer service group for a large freight forwarder.

We continue to open our doors to interns and graduates and to provide them with the skills and confidence to build a very successful career.