Business, Freight News, Logistics, Road

Irish industry calls for aid to combat skills shortage

[ June 17, 2019   //   ]

The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) has called on the Irish government to provide urgent funding and support for the country’s logistics operators to reverse the current skills shortage ahead of Brexit.

The alternative, says general manager, Aidan Flynn, could be a serious impact on domestic and international business:

With Ireland’s workforce is currently at almost full employment, “there are still vacancies in the logistics sector which need to be filled. The industry needs urgent help from government to attract young people into logistics, by promoting a driver apprenticeship and structured training programmes which will raise awareness and educate the workforce of tomorrow of the opportunities which are available to them.”

Independent research by FTAI in partnership with the TU Dublin School of Management has identified key issues affecting the recruitment of new personnel including the perceived hours of work, levels of pay and career opportunities.

Flynn said: “It is vital that employers across the industry take a long hard look at the roles on offer to new entrants.  Professional driving, in particular, is a fulfilling and motivating career, but many young people overlook the jobs available, based on pre-conceptions about the pay and conditions on offer.  This is something we should all be working to change as a matter of urgency, if Irish business is to be prepared for a post-Brexit world.”

FTAI says that funding for training and development of individuals is still sporadic, and this must be prioritised by government, as Flynn continues, to ensure that a pipeline of future employees can be developed and maintained. “Many of the issues identified by the new research as barriers to joining the logistics industry, including working conditions and the lack of sufficient training and education, could be resolved easily if government would back appropriate development and apprenticeship programmes for logistics. Brexit is, of course, challenging how the supply chain will work in the future and unless government works more closely with business, there is a risk that business viability will come into question and goods and services will go undelivered.

“Ireland has always been a trading nation, and has a real opportunity to capitalise on the changing business conditions which Brexit will present,” Flynn concludes.  “However, without a suitable, trained workforce, it will be impossible to move the goods and services which support the Irish economy – this is an opportunity which government simply cannot afford to miss.”