Ireland needs more graduate entrants to aid with the country’s import and export trade in the lead-up to 2020. As Ireland pushes for economic growth, a report produced by the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs, which advises the Irish government, highlights that there may be a shortfall in the labour market. The outlook for the sector is considered to be positive and employment prospects very favourable if the challenges can be addressed.
More Graduate Trainees Needed
Due to expansion and replacement in freight transport, logistics and distribution (FTLD), an anticipated 15,500 additional skilled workers will be required in manufacturing, distribution and export companies to fill vacancies between now and the end of the decade. The right skills base will be necessary to push the economy forward.
Managers, office workers, planners, adequately trained warehouse operatives and HGV drivers will be key if Ireland is to be competitive not only in the domestic market place, but also to enable industries to export beyond the national borders. Professional university and college courses in Ireland will have to increase in number to serve the forecasted increase in the sector.
Due to the country’s geographic position, export by air and sea pose their own specific challenges and skills requirements.
Training and Lifelong Learning
Apprenticeship programmes and ongoing skills training for life will be essential in companies such as Rack Zone previously Duffy Discount, who provide pallet racking in Ireland, if Ireland is to continue to grow and prosper in the long term.
The drivers for change are considered to be legislative and regulatory from the EU as well as from technological advances. Employers questioned currently believe they have sufficiently trained staff but recognise that improvements in areas such as computerised warehousing will require more highly trained employees. The EGFSN report suggests that employers will have to become more aware of the range of methods available for upskilling staff on an ongoing basis if demands are to be met.
A high number of retiring HGV drivers will also need to be replaced in the near future. The appropriate licence can be obtained through company schemes or through specific courses.
So it is clear that a career pathway with appropriate training and skills courses must be introduced that both employers and potential new entrants to the sector must be made aware of going forward.