T&L employers train staff to leave: Research

Transport and logistics provides a high proportion of entry-level jobs but staff are leaving the industry for better-paid jobs, new research finds

T&L employers train staff to leave: Research
T&L employers train staff to leave: Research

April 19, 2011

Transport and logistics provides a high proportion of entry-level jobs but many staff, particularly qualified drivers, are leavingthe industry for better-paid mining and construction jobs new research finds

The Transport and Logistics Industry Environmental Scan (E-Scan) reveals employers bear considerable training costs for new entrants, but
despite this investment, the industry is facing a drain causing an inequitable economic burden and making recruitment more difficult.

Produced by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC), the E-Scan is released annually. It aims to act as an early warning system for the T&L industry, government and the national training system.

"E-Scan provides contemporary and projected advice on the condition of transport and logistics sectors, their workforce planning and development needs," says
TLISC Director Policy and Research Amanda Thomas.

"It also projects the reliance required by the industry on the national training system over the next 12 months."

According to the report, changing technology will drive the need for higher-order skills among workers.

"Issues relating to language, literacy and numeracy must be addressed to ensure the workforce can deliver further productivity gains," Thomas says.

"Some areas of the industry are facing significant skills shortages and have a limited capacity to train new staff to meet projected demand."

The report finds the most critical problems arise where skill acquisition for a specific job role takes several years and requires access to industry facilities.

Such roles include ships for maritime and trains for locomotive drivers.

In addition, the large proportion of transport and logistics workers nearing retirement age will force employers to seek new ways to preserve and pass on their knowledge.

"More planning will be required to develop and implement staged retirement options (up to five years) that enable outgoing workers to pass on their skills and knowledge," Thomas says.

As would be expected, there will be increasing pressures for the industry to lessen its carbon footprint.

The report contends the use of hybrid and electric vehicles will become more prevalent as the community demands cleaner transport and the proposed carbon emission scheme makes ‘dirtier’ vehicles more expensive.

"The industry has strong growth expectations, but infrastructure bottlenecks will need to be addressed to remove constraints," she says.

"In some areas, bottlenecks in port-to-rail and port-to-road still reduce the potential productivity from freight movements."

The T&L sector contributes $90 billion to the Australia economy annually and employs an estimated 500,000 individuals directly and over one million people in both direct and associated roles.

Small business is dominant in the sector with over 165,000 businesses operating. Freight movement is expected to double over the next decade.

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