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A new tool to combat the talent shortage in Australia’s supply chain sector

Australia’s supply chain sector is experiencing disruption on a massive scale, and it also faces a looming talent and capability shortage. This has prompted the development of a career mapping tool to encourage a new generation of talent to enter this booming sector.

The digital Supply Chain Career Map developed by Deakin’s Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics (CSCL) showcases more than 150 supply chain roles in 18 sectors, linking jobs to qualifications (from certificate 4 to Master’s degree), years of experience, and indicative salary.

Dr Hermione Parsons, Director of CSCL and Co-Chair of Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women, an industry sponsored initiative established to increase diversity in the supply chain sector, said the Supply Chain Career Map aims to show people the huge range of career opportunities available.

“We want people to see supply chain and logistics as an interesting profession with a great future and not just ‘fall into it’ as has been the case so often in the past,” Dr Parsons said.

Dr Parsons said recent forecasting by DHL revealed that demand for supply chain professionals may soon outstrip supply by six to one.

“Now, more than ever – with the pandemic placing unprecedented stress on a sector already experiencing unprecedented transformation – we need to break down some of the barriers to talent acquisition in the sector and that’s exactly what we hope the Career Map will do.”

She said that recent research conducted by the Centre – funded by Wayfinder’s national partner Food Innovation Australia Ltd (FIAL) and the Wayfinder sponsor companies – highlighted lack of diversity and poor understanding of the sector as key barriers to talent acquisition.

“The sector currently has an aging and largely male workforce, and its traditionally poor image and lack of visibility presents a major challenge for recruitment,” Dr Parsons said.

“Increasing diversity in the sector is a key focus for Wayfinder, and the Career Map includes embedded videos which showcase inspirational women working across many key roles at all levels in the sector.”

Belinda Flynn, General Manager, Safety, Health and Sustainability at QUBE and co-chair of Wayfinder, hopes the Map will help break down the stereotypical image that careers in supply chain are for males only.

“We know that career and education course choices are made on the basis of access to robust internet information, this digital resource provides this access,” Belinda said.

“We believe it will be an important tool to encourage people at all stages of their career to explore the opportunities supply chain can offer and to transfer into the sector.”

The Supply Chain Digital Career Map, which can be accessed via desktop and mobile, was funded by Australia’s Food and Agribusiness Growth Centre (trading as FIAL) and the Wayfinder industry consortium.

Mirjana Prica, Managing Director at FIAL, said that effective and efficient supply chains require a diverse and talented workforce.  “Australian food and agricultural products depend on supply chains to reach their customers and markets nationally and internationally,” Dr Prica said.

“The Digital Supply Chain Career Map will highlight different roles in the sector.  FIAL is delighted to be able to support this project and hopes it encourages people to consider a career in supply chain.”

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