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Logistics hotspots of skills in demand

The second of Hays’ bi-annual Logistics Job Reports for the year 2019 highlights some areas with significant vacancy rates in the transport and logistics area.
This vacancy activity will be focused on multi-skilled candidates across transport, warehousing and supply chain. This is the result of a focus on efficiency improvements and positive productivity, with employers looking for candidates with a strong knowledge of systems and processes and a history of reducing costs, achieving demanding KPI and diverse experience. Employers also want candidates with a wide technical skillset whom they can utilise to their full potential.
Within the transport industry, strained transport networks in Sydney and Melbourne will continue to fuel demand for Transport Allocators. With a busier transport sector in Brisbane, there is a need for Transport Allocators and experienced Transport Supervisors and Managers to lead operations. Employers require candidates with experience in a similar role.
Lateral thinking Transport Coordinators and Managers who cope well under pressure and find the best route at the cheapest rate are also in demand.
Casual HR Drivers as well as MC Drivers with an MSIC card are needed. So are HR and HC Drivers who are open to a multi-skilled role such as driving and labouring.
Freight Forwarders remain in demand but require relevant experience. The Trans-Pacific Partnership has increased vacancy activity in freight forwarding across Australia and subsequently demand for Import/Export professionals, with a focus from employers on sea freight and Mandarin speaking candidates. Those with CargoWise knowledge are also sought.
The heavy vehicle regulations will continue to create demand in the transport sector for qualified Supervisors with a Chain of Responsibility accreditation.
Within warehouse and distribution, Warehouse Managers and Supervisors are required. Candidates must be analytically sound with a proactive approach to KPI. As companies continue to appreciate the benefit of improving logistical efficiencies, candidates who can track, monitor and manage KPI performance are highly sought after. Warehouse
Supervisors willing to manage small teams are also required.
In the warehousing sector, diploma or degree qualified candidates with experience in lean principles are sought.

Distribution of vacancies

In a localised trend, New South Wales’ growing 3PL footprint is leading to demand for Warehouse Managers, Logistics Coordinators, Analysts, Pallet Controllers and Dispatch Coordinators. Employers want to ensure maximum efficiency is achieved and KPI and contracts are being met. Expectations from 3PL employers are growing and they therefore look for candidates who can ensure service delivery levels are met, if not exceeded. They also want to see degree qualified candidates with experience in a similar environment.
Import and Export Coordinators are another area of demand. With many companies moving their manufacturing overseas, candidates with international shipping experience and cargo software knowledge are required.
Dispatch Coordinators are needed, too.
Wharf Fleet Controllers are also sought in response to turnover resulting from the high pressure working environment. Employers look for candidates with wharf experience and a secure, stable and successful career within this space.
In the SME sector, inventory control professionals who can develop procedures to improve inventory accuracy and transparency are required.
Inventory Controllers are another area of demand. The duties of this role were once the responsibility of Warehouse Supervisors, however employers now have strict stock levels tolerance.
Store persons with inventory management software experience are needed too. Companies seek multi-skilled candidates who can manage inventory needs, possess strong computer skills, a forklift license and the ability to load and unload deliveries, pick and pack orders and tidy a store.
Forklift Operators skilled in operating different attachments and High Reach Forklift Operators are sought. While Forklift Operators are available, those with attachment and high reach expertise are rare, as are those who have worked in busy warehouses and have strong navigation skills.
Casual Skilled Labourers are needed for one to two-day assignments. With most people looking for longer-term assignments, reliable candidates for short-term roles are rare.
Another interesting trend is the recovery of the senior level supply chain market. Today, candidates with change management experience, from both a people and process perspective, are in high demand. This is a result of organisations realising the impact that big data, systems and technology can have on improving efficiencies and reducing costs. Individuals who can coach a business through this transition are highly sought after in the current market.
Demand also exists for quality Supply and Demand Planners and S&OP Managers who have worked with complex manual based systems, have exposure to and have assisted with the development of S&OP processes and implementations, possess an analytical and commercial focus and can influence and educate internal stakeholders across an organisation.
Finally, fixed-term contracts and project roles are available. This is a notable change in a market that was previously dominated by permanent roles.

Salary trends

According to our FY 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide, more logistics professionals will receive a pay rise this year than last, but it will be a less significant increase than they hoped for.
We found that 92% of employers will increase their transport and distribution staff salaries in their next review, up from 83% who did so in their last review.
However, the value of these increases will fall. 71% intend to raise salaries at the lower level of 3% or less, up from 63% who did so in their last review. At the other end of the scale, just 3% of employers intend to grant pay increases of more than 6%. The number of employers who will increase salaries at the mid-level, between 3 and 6%, has risen slightly, from 17% to 18%.
There are only a few exceptions. The recovery of the senior supply chain market led to demand for Supply Chain Managers and, in turn, mid-tier Demand and Supply Planners. In some states, salaries have increased in response to this demand.
Tasmania’s positive economic climate led to a surge in interstate and international exports. Looking ahead, salaries are expected to increase in the state for Multi Combination Drivers and Warehouse Supervisors, who remain in short supply.

Rail engineering is a career for the future

Eight engineering students from the University of Wollongong and the University of Western Sydney visited AusRAIL PLUS, the biggest rail event in the region, to ‘Meet a Rail Engineer’.

‘Meet a Rail Engineer’ is an industry led initiative developed by the Australasian Railway Association (ARA) whereby engineering students are provided with a unique opportunity to spend quality time with a practicing rail engineer, with the aim to inspire and attract future engineers to rail.

Chief Executive of the ARA Bryan Nye stated that this was the second year the industry body had facilitated the initiative, with the primary focus of positioning rail as an employer of choice.

“The Australasian Rail Industry is in a period of significant growth and prosperity, I hope that today these students witnessed that and will consider a career in rail when they graduate,” said Nye.

“Investing in our nation’s future engineers is investing in the future of our rail industry.

“The industry is continually looking to provide opportunities for motivated and talented students, from a diverse range of academic backgrounds, to be the future leaders in one of Australia’s largest industries,” he said.

During their personal tour of AusRAIL PLUS, students gained valuable information about the industry and discover the diverse range of career options in which they can utilise their engineering talents.

ARA members volunteered their top rail engineers to mentor and guide the six students at AusRAIL PLUS where they visited exhibitors, answered engineering related questions and highlighted the benefits of applying their skills to the rail industry.

The students were also provided with show bags containing a variety of items and merchandise from participating organisations.

“The ARA would not have been able to facilitate today’s unique event without the valuable support of its industry members,” Nye continued.

“It is a wonderful example of industry working together, through the ARA’s Rail Workforce Development Committee, providing potential future engineers with a positive “one on one” experience with a Rail Engineer and showcase the exciting career opportunities rail has to offer.

“Continuing to coordinate activities like this is vital to attracting young talent to rail,” Nye concluded.

Participating industry companies in the ‘Meet a Rail Engineer’ initiative are Australian Rail Track Corporation, Bombardier, Brookfield Rail, Downer Rail, John Holland, Leighton and Pacific National.

Transport & logistics industry goes techno to find new recruits

The nation’s fastest growing industry, transport and logistics, is tackling its ‘blue singlet’ image head-on to attract young Queenslanders into its workforce.Low unemployment, an ageing workforce, and a poor image are among the factors that are making it tougher and tougher for transport and logistics employers to recruit new workers.

Queensland Transport, Trade, Employment and Industrial Relations Minister John Mickel said the Queensland Government was working closely with the industry on innovative recruitment techniques and improved career paths, as well as making a massive investment in training under the Queensland Skills Plan.

The latest recruitment tool is a five-minute DVD, "Get your career moving in T&L" that visually captures career opportunities in road, rail, sea, and air transport.

"Many people aren’t aware of the magnitude of the transport and logistics industry and the exciting opportunities it offers for people of all ages and at all stages of their career," Mr Mickel said.

“Unfortunately, there’s still the stereotype of the truck driver in the blue singlet, but a career in transport and logistics covers air, rail, road and sea and includes air traffic controllers, marine engineers and logistics planners.

“The amount of freight moved around the country is expected to double by 2020 and we need to replace and boost the current 112,000 Queenslanders who are working in the industry now.”

Funded by the state government and produced in partnership with the Transport Industry Workforce Advisory Group, the new DVD will be screened in wide range of forums to jobseekers of all ages and backgrounds.

The state government is also working with schools, local communities, training providers and industry on school-to-work training programs for transport and logistics that give young people the pathways they need to progress within the industry.

Mr Mickel said the transport and logistics industry contributed $37.9 billion to the Queensland economy and needed to replace and renew its multifaceted workforce to maintain its performance.

“I’d urge young Queenslanders to check out the opportunities that a career in transport and logistics can offer,” he said.

For more information about the DVD, and career opportunities in transport and logistics, contact Queensland Transport’s Industry Capability Unit on

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