Technology driving new T&L skills requirements: Report

Transport and Logistics IRC Skills Forecast 2019 draft released

Technology driving new T&L skills requirements: Report
An image from the report


Australian Industry Standards (AIS) has released its draft Transport and Logistics Industry Reference Committee (IRC) Skills Forecast 2019, which examines skills needs for the immediate future and anticipate the requirements for the next four years.

As of 2018, the industry had an estimated annual revenue of $102.87 billion with an operating profit of $10.14 billion, the report finds.

The transport and logistics industry employs more than half a million people across its major subsectors road transport, logistics, warehousing, and stevedoring, with each subsector expected to grow between now and 2024.

The largest growth (6 per cent) projected is for the largest subsector, freight transport. Passenger transport and storage/delivery are expected to grow at about half that rate over the same period.

The industry’s landscape will be reshaped by new technologies, signifying new skills are required now and into the future, Transport and Logistics IRC chair Mark McKenzie says in his executive summary.

"The industry is experiencing an increasing use of automated and semi-automated vehicles. Autonomous vehicles have been successfully trialled across Australia," he says.

"Such vehicles use vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and more recently vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication technologies which rely on interconnected devices that increase the volume of data (Big Data), enabling remote diagnostics, smart routing, and improved efficiency.

"The workforce will need to be skilled in digital literacy, cyber security, and data analytics to improve productivity and customer service.

"Warehouses are being equipped with automated systems and robotics which will influence the supply chain processes. The demand for highly personalised supply chain services will continue to increase."

There is also an increasing focus on improving the sustainability of supply chain operations and the traceability of goods in transit, McKenzie adds, warning that industry will need to remain mindful of disruptive innovations which carry the potential to impact enterprises.

"Technologies such as block chain are being trialled and employed. Other innovations are telematics and fatigue monitoring devices which will improve safety.

McKenzie also points to industry’s regulatory framework, which is also shifting towards a more stringent safety focus, highlights by amendments to chain of responsibility (COR) regulations that came into effect in late 2018.

"Driving operations and heavy vehicles loading/unloading requirements have been affected which requires a review of the corresponding qualifications and units of competency.

"Fuel storage and handling of flammables are subject to strict regulations and safety requirements, which require the development of a new skill set.

"The workforce needs to have the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure awareness of and compliance with regulations, which can vary by state/territory.

"The IRC has identified the need to review driving operations qualifications to ensure heavy vehicle driver safety, professionalisation, and compliance with regulations.

"Logistics and warehousing training will be reviewed to facilitate a more aligned pathway for workers to transition across multiple sectors of the industry.

"The workforce planning and development activities undertaken by enterprises are essential to creating and retaining a viable and productive workforce."

As such, soft skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and emotional intelligence will be just as important as technical ability into the future, the report notes.

Read Hays' latest Hotspots of skills in demand report, here


More than 80 per cent of employers reported experiencing a skills shortage in the last 12 months. The occupations reported as being in shortage were:

1 Heavy vehicle drivers

2 Drivers (general)

3 Educators, trainers and assessors

4 Warehousing

5 Supervisors/managers


Employers identified the following reasons for the shortage with the most frequent response listed first:

1 Ageing workforce / current staff retiring

2 Unattractive job / poor industry image

3 Cost/time to achieve the required qualification

4 Competition from other organisations

5 Wages / Salaries Considered Too Low


The following skills were identified from the survey as the most important for the Transport and Logistics workforce within the next three to five years.

1 Health/safety

2 Driving

3 Operational

4 Compliance

5 Digital

The full report draft can be found here. Feedback is being accepted until April 8, 2019.


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