Record forklift apprentice intake for Toyota

Toyota Material Handling Australia (TMHA) has inducted a record 14 apprentice forklift technicians in its annual intake, ensuring a solid skills support base for the future.
The national forklift company this year received a staggering 826 applications for apprenticeships from around the country.
The 14 new apprentices, accompanied by mentors from their respective TMHA branches, were inducted and received their tools of trade at TMHA’s Sydney headquarters at the end of March.
TMHA president and CEO Steve Takacs – who began his career as a forklift technician – was on hand to welcome the inductees.
They also received presentations on Toyota values, company policies and expectations, safety procedures and Toyota history, and a tour of TMHA’s extensive national headquarters.
TMHA national technical advisor and trainer Gerry Larney said 14 apprentices was a record annual intake and continues Toyota’s commitment to industry leading skills training.
“We currently have 35 apprentices completing their four-year courses across our 18 branches and a total of 450 staff in product support roles,” he said.
“TMHA views the apprentice program as a cornerstone in providing the highest levels of product support.
“It is a real investment in our future, as today’s apprentices are tomorrow’s technicians.”
TMHA also conducts an annual national skills contest, open to all technicians and apprentices, with the aim of keeping service staff at the cutting edge of industry standards.
Steve Takacs said Toyota has been at the forefront of forklift technician training for much of the 50 years the company has been selling forklifts in Australia, this is further supported by specialist TAFE and inhouse training programs for Australia’s forklift technicians.
“The annual apprentice intake was initiated more than a decade ago to help ensure we have a strong skills base to support our business,” he said.

Will a robot take your job?

Half of Australian workers have already seen their job responsibilities change as a result of automation, according to recruiting company Hays.
In an online poll of almost 2,000 (1,987) people in Australia conducted by the recruiter, 18 per cent said automation has already impacted their job ‘significantly’, with their duties changing or their role becoming redundant.
Another 32 per cent said their job has been impacted ‘partially’, with some tasks automated and non-routine duties increasing.
The final 50 per cent said automation has so far had no impact on their day-to-day job responsibilities.
“There’s no denying that robots will continue to join workplaces across the country, with professionals able to benefit if they take the appropriate action now,” said managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand Nick Deligiannis.
“Even if you are one of the 50 per cent of skilled professionals whose job has not yet been impacted by automation, it’s essential you don’t rest on your laurels. The automation of routine and repetitive job tasks is inevitable.
“To prepare, consider what your job would look like if all the routine and repetitive duties you perform were automated. Then determine how you could fill the time freed up by the automation of these tasks in a way that adds greater strategic value to your employer.
“Next, start to upskill in the higher-value areas you’ve identified so that you’ll be ready for the automation of your lower-value, repetitive tasks.
“But don’t just sit back and wait for automation to knock on your door. Be proactive and embrace change by exploring relevant automation tools and their practical application for your role. Set up a meeting with your boss to discuss these new tools and how they could be of use in your role. Then present your plan for how you can focus your time on higher-value tasks if your routine and repetitive job responsibilities were automated.
“Remember, constant upskilling is the key to remaining relevant and employable when lower-value tasks are automated,” Mr Deligiannis said.


Where the jobs are in T&L

Demand for multi-skilled candidates remains high across transport, warehousing and supply chain, according to the latest Hays Jobs Report. 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 skill set 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 a 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. Import/Export professionals are sought, with a particular focus from employers on sea freight and Mandarin speaking candidates. CargoWise experience is a new trend that employers more commonly request.
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.
In a localised trend, New South Wales’ growing 3PL footprint is leading to demand for Warehouse Managers, Logistics Coordinators and Analysts. 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 being met, if not exceeded.
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 in high demand.
Dispatch Coordinators are needed, too.
Wharf Fleet Controllers are also sought in response to turnover due to the high pressure work 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 stricter tolerances on stock levels and are recruiting these professionals in response.
Storepersons with inventory management software experience are needed, too. Companies seek candidates who can multi-skill, manage inventory needs and possess strong computer skills, a forklift licence 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 also 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 roles, reliable candidates for short-term roles are rare.
Another interesting trend is the recovery of the senior level supply chain market. Today, multiple Supply Chain Manager vacancies are available in global organisations. This has also led to an increase in the number of mid-tier supply and demand planner vacancies. As a result, demand exists for quality Supply and Demand Planners and S&OP Managers who have worked with complex manual-based systems, have exposure to and 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.

Transport employment outlook positive

All sectors – 1Q19.

Hiring intentions in the Transportation & Utilities sector remain robust for 1Q19 despite drifting lower quarter-on-quarter with a Net Employment Outlook of +18%, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. The survey collects data from over 59,000 employers in 43 countries, including 1,500 in Australia.
The outlook for 1Q19 is -5 points lower than the 7-year high recorded in the last quarter of 2018, but remains in positive territory with its second strongest result since early 2012. The latest data reveals the sector had the strongest year on year gain, up +7 points.
The employment outlook is strongest for the Mining & Construction sector with a Net Employment Outlook of +22%, while the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector has recorded one of the strongest improvements compared to the same period last year as the sector appears to prepare for a post-Christmas hiring boost.

T&L leads employment outlook

Hiring intentions in the Transport & Utilities sector are the most robust in the country and the strongest in more than seven years, according to the latest results from the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. The survey collects data from over 59,000 employers in 43 countries, including over 1,500 in Australia.
The sector has reported a Net Employment Outlook (NEO)[1] of +23% for the final three months of 2018. This is nearly double the same time last year (+13%) and the strongest outlook recorded since 4Q11.
Transport & Utilities – Net Employment Outlook, Q1 2011 – Q4 2018

The latest analysis reveals the sector has the most optimistic employment outlook in the country and is nearly three times as strong as the weakest sector for 4Q18 (Wholesale & Retail Trade).
[1] The Net Employment Outlook is calculated by subtracting the percentage of employers anticipating a decrease in hiring activity from the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in employment. Seasonal adjustment is then applied to the data.

47% of employers plan to increase headcount

Transport Allocators, Warehouse Managers and Supervisors, and Import and Export Coordinators are areas of demand in logistics for employers who plan to increase permanent staff levels this financial year, according to recruiting company Hays.
In a survey of more than 3,000 organisations representing over 2.3 million employees for the annual Hays Salary Guide, the recruiter found that strategy and consulting will lead jobs growth, with 63 per cent of employers indicating they’ll add to their headcount in this area.
This is followed by general management (57 per cent), information technology (53 per cent) and project management (51 per cent). Fifty per cent expect to increase their human resources, operational management and sales permanent headcounts.
Twenty-two per cent of employers will also increase their use of temporary and contract staff. The trend of employing temporary and contract staff on a regular, ongoing basis will continue, with 24% of employers now doing so.
“The coming six months will see continued labour market strength, with permanent and temporary hiring intentions suggesting further employment gains,” said managing director of Hays in Australia & New Zealand Nick Deligiannis.
“However, employers say the shortage of highly-skilled professionals will impact the effective operation of their organisation or department.”
According to the Hays Jobs Report, covering the July to December half, skills in demand for the six months ahead in logistics and manufacturing include:
Logistics: Transport Allocators, Warehouse Managers and Supervisors and Import and Export Coordinators are areas of demand.
Manufacturing & Operations: Field Service Technicians, Engineering Drafters, Production Managers and Engineering Managers with technology and robotics experience are needed.
Procurement: Demand exists for Category Managers with end-to-end procurement skills, Procurement Officers and Senior Procurement Managers with a strategic focus.
Retail: Retail professionals with digital development and marketing expertise are required, as are Store Managers with experience implementing change and Merchandise Planners.

Job prospects are looking up, not so much for retail

Australian employers continue to report positive hiring intentions heading into the new financial year, but the national Net Employment Outlook (NEO) continues to hide significant differences across key sectors. Upbeat hiring intentions in the Services and Public Administration & Education sectors – two industries currently showing signs that wages are growing – have been offset by softer employment Outlooks in the Wholesale & Retail Trade, Finance, Insurance & Real Estate, and Mining & Construction sectors.
These are the results from the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the third quarter of 2018, which records a national Net Employment Outlook of +10% for Australia, signalling that more employers expect to increase staffing levels than not in the three months to 30 September. The survey collects data from over 59,000 employers in 43 countries, including 1,500 in Australia.
The strong national result remains relatively stable when compared to the previous quarter and this same time last year. An increase in staffing levels is anticipated across all seven industry sectors and seven of eight regions during Q3 2018.
These survey results follow the release of data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), revealing a patchy performance for wages growth. The ABS data highlights that while wages growth remains weak across the economy, a number of industry sectors including public administration, education and healthcare – the same sectors reporting the strongest hiring intentions in this latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey – recorded relatively strong growth in wages.
The Services sector, which includes Healthcare, reported the strongest hiring intentions for the third quarter of 2018 with an NEO of +13%, followed by Public Administration & Education with an Outlook of +12%. The weakest employment Outlook was reported by the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector with an NEO of +5%, a decrease of seven percentage points quarter-over-quarter and a dip of two percentage points year-over-year. A slight decline was reported in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector, down three percentage points when compared to Q2 2018. The Mining & Construction sector, though relatively stable quarter-on-quarter, also reported a decrease of two percentage points when compared to the third quarter of 2017. However, despite these declines the employment Outlook remains in positive territory across all sectors.
Regionally, New South Wales reported the strongest employment Outlook of +15%, followed by Victoria at +12% and Queensland at +9%. The smaller states of Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania reported both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year declines but remain in positive territory. The most notable decrease can be seen in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), down 10 percentage points when compared to Q3 2017. The Northern Territory continues to report the weakest hiring intentions of all states and territories with a struggling Net Employment Outlook of -1%.
The positive national Outlook continues to be powered by the nation’s largest organisations, reporting a Net Employment Outlook of +22%, a five percentage-point increase year-on-year. This solid result is double that of medium-sized organisations (+11%) and three times greater than small organisations (+7%).
ManpowerGroup Australia & New Zealand managing director Richard Fischer believes this latest data illustrates well-established trends in Australia’s labour market, particularly the rebalancing of the economy away from the Mining & Construction sector and the strength of large firms.
“The strength of Australia’s labour market is evident across the economy despite softer Outlooks in some sectors,” said Mr Fischer. “Rather than employment growth being dependent on one sector, such as during the mining boom, we are now seeing a sustained positive outlook across all sectors.
“It is also notable that there is strong demand for labour from Australia’s largest firms – an ongoing trend for over two years now.”
Mr Fischer also noted that although wages growth was patchy across the economy, there are signs of improvement in sectors with the strongest third-quarter outlooks.
“The latest ABS data revealed that while wages growth is weak overall, there is clear evidence of growth in industry sectors with strong and sustained demand for labour, including Services and Public Administration & Education. These are the same sectors reporting strong hiring intentions for the upcoming quarter.”
Across the Asia-Pacific region the strongest Outlooks are reported in Japan (+26%), Taiwan (+24%), Hong Kong (+17%) and India (+17%).

More logistics workers to get a pay rise – but not much

81 per cent of Australia’s transport and distribution employers will give their staff a pay rise of less than 3 per cent in their next review, while 4 per cent will not increase salaries at all, according to the 2018-19 Hays Salary Guide.
The 2018-19 Hays Salary Guide shows a further 11 per cent will give staff an increase of 3 to 6 per cent. Just 4 per cent will increase by 6 per cent or more.
Compared to their last review, when 11 per cent of transport and distribution employers gave no increases, the findings show that more logistics professionals will receive an increase.
Logistics workers, however, have higher expectations than employers for a salary increase: 23 per cent expect an increase of 6 per cent or more.
Employees have also prioritised a pay rise. Two-thirds (67 per cent) say a salary increase is their number one career priority this year. If their employer doesn’t offer a pay rise, almost half (48 per cent, up from 45 per cent last year) will request one.
“Across Australia’s warehousing, transport and supply chain markets, a key theme has been positive productivity linked to efficiency improvements,” said managing director of Hays Logistics Tim James.
“Logistics companies have therefore been targeting multi-skilled candidates who have a strong knowledge of systems and processes. They must also have a proven track record in reducing costs, the ability to achieve demanding KPI, and diverse experience. Add the requirement for a wider technical skill set and the ability to meet compliance and OH&S regulations for those in management roles, and it is surprising that salaries have not increased in line with rising employer expectations. How long this can continue remains to be seen.
“In transport specifically, we have seen an active market for transport professionals, particularly in Victoria and New South Wales where infrastructure is strained. Salaries have increased in response to demand, reaching up to $85,000 plus superannuation.
“Candidate movement at the senior level, particularly heads of logistics, transport managers/planners and distribution managers, has been minimal. However this is expected to change in 2018-19 as senior professionals become more aware of the opportunities presented by industry growth. This could also be the catalyst that prompts employers to increase salaries to retain their top talent.
“Within the supply chain market, the value of a robust and transparent supply chain has seen sales and operations planning (S&OP) processes come to the fore. This has created demand for quality Supply and Demand Planners. Salaries are competitive given the drive from employers to secure the best available talent in this area.”
The Hays Salary Guide also found:

  • Business activity increased for 74 per cent of employers in the past 12 months, while 77 per cent expect it to increase in the next 12 months.
  • 40 per cent foresee a strengthening economy in the coming six to 12 months.
  • 40 per cent of employers expect to increase permanent staff levels in the next 12 months in their distribution department.
  • Meanwhile, 20 per cent expect to increase their use of temporary and contract distribution staff.
  • 40 per cent of organisations now employ temporary and contract staff in their distribution department on a regular ongoing basis and another 20 per cent employ them for special projects or workloads.
  • In the last 12 months, 16 per cent of Australians asked for a pay rise but were declined – a further 18 per cent asked for a pay rise and were successful.
  • The success of the latter perhaps explains why 48 per cent say they intend to ask for a pay rise in their next review. A further 24 per cent are as yet unsure.
  • 32 per cent of employers say staff turnover has increased in their organisation over the last 12 months.
  • 67 per cent of employers, compared to 65 per cent last year, are worried that skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their organisation or department in a significant (26 per cent) or minor (41 per cent) way.
  • 67 per cent of employers offer flexible salary packaging. Of these, the most common benefits offered to all employees are salary sacrifice (offered to all employees by 57 per cent of employers), above mandatory superannuation (41 per cent), parking (33 per cent), private health insurance (29 per cent) and bonuses (27 per cent).
  • 70 per cent of employees have access to flexible work practices, 56 per cent receive ongoing learning & development, 45 per cent career progression opportunities, 36 per cent health and wellness programs, 32 per cent over 20 days’ annual leave and 30 per cent financial support for study.


"Census shows need for logistics employment focus": Isuzu chief

Following an in-depth review of the latest Census employment data, Phil Taylor, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Isuzu Australia, has called for transport and logistics stakeholders to consider the future prosperity of the industry.
Taylor noted that the Census revealed that the logistics workforce is ageing, while demand for freight is growing rapidly.
“The release of more detailed Census data in October last year provides even more compelling insights into the transport and logistics sector, and the picture it paints is cause for reflection,” he said. “In the 2001 Census, the average age of transport and storage workers was 35 to 44 years. In last year’s Census, the average transport, portal and warehousing employee had ages to be between 45 and 54 years old.
“We need to ensure that the operations knowledge of the current generation of transport and logistics professionals isn’t lost forever – the industry needs to start having the tough conversations about what can be done so a younger crop of professionals can inherit the wisdom of the industry’s current employees.”
He noted that employment in the sector grew 28 per cent in the previous 15 years, while freight grew by 40 per cent.
“Worker shortages in the transport and logistics sector will impact on all Australians,” he said. “An issue this broad needs a collaborative effort to generate innovative and meaningful solutions.”
Taylor praised the Federal Government’s $760 million Youth Jobs PaTH program, announced in the FY16/17 budget. “[The program] has created a circumstance where transport companies can partner with the Department of Employment to establish trial programs within the industry that aim to deliver tangible solutions in response to one of the most significant issues out industry is presently facing.
“The reality is that hiring employees is an expense for companies, and that many small-to-medium operators in the transport and logistics sector aren’t willing to take it on, especially if the feel any new employee might not be equipped with the skills necessary to hit the ground running.”

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