VFLC demands image change

Based on the assumption that the movement of freight will double by 2020, various reports have been compiled in the past five years exposing the forthcoming challenges that will face Australia’s transport and logistics industry.

The aim of the recent report presented by the Victorian Freight and Logistics Council (VFLC) is to use previous investigations and propose a practical approach addressing the problems that will occupy the sector in the near future.

The transport and logistics sector includes warehousing, distribution, supply chain, international and domestic logistics, freight and public transport. It employs over 500,000 Australians directly, and a further 700,000 indirectly, encompassing 165,000 businesses. Altogether, it contributes $90 billion annually to the Australian economy, thus generating 14.5 percent of GDP.

Over the next decade, freight will experience growth of 40 percent on current volumes. Victoria, Australia’s strongest T&L centre, will require 23,000 additional workers over the next five years, an annual growth of 4,600 employees. The ambient growth of the industry workforce required is 1.3 percent per annum, accounting for productivity gains. However, there is a large cohort of older employees leaving the industry, particularly in transport operations. This generational change will push up the workforce growth demand to two percent per annum.

The Victorian Freight and Logistics Council identified four key issues to be addressed. It demands “communicating positive messages about the industry” and a renewal of the current workforce. Therefore, it recommends the development of a “re-branding campaign that provides positive messages and images that focus on the broad range of opportunities available.”

In addition, it suggests establishing “new career paths for existing workers” and calls for an increased recognition of people’s value.

Since the T&L sector is exposed to the risk of generational change as workforce ageing is expected to exacerbate skill shortages, “the industry must embrace the recruitment and retention of many groups currently underrepresented in the industry,” the report says. As the number of workers aged 15 to 34 years is 10 percent below the average 40 percent for all industries, “specific strategies to attract and retain young people will be necessary to establish a workforce that will grow with demand.” The VFLC also urges increased recognition of women and immigrant workers in the transport industry.

Leave a Reply

Send this to a friend