Addressing the skills shortage in the supply chain industry
By Kyle Lindsay
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 - 11:03
Organisations must be prepared to break the mould surrounding the traditional type of employees considered
Breaking the mould is key to addressing the skills shortage in the supply chain industry, says Crimson & Co
A report by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has underlined the importance in strengthening the British supply chain industry, identifying a number of core areas for investment, which could potentially generate £30bn for the British economy. According to Liz Howat, Head of scprime at global supply chain consultancy Crimson & Co. in order to address the growing skills shortage facing the British supply chain industry, organisations must be prepared to break the mould surrounding the traditional type of employees considered. Organisations must begin to think outside the box by employing professionals and graduates with specific skills and capabilities that meet clear business objectives.
A key facet to this is addressing the skills shortage which exists among British supply chain firms, with the report highlighting the need for a greater entrance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduates inducted into the industry. These feelings were echoed by the Deputy Prime Minister who recently announced plans to boost British manufacturing supply chains in 2015 by tackling issues such as innovation and industry skills gaps.
Ms Howat states that while investment in staff is crucial for the long term future of the sector, in order for it to be effective, firms need to be prepared to re-evaluate the traditional type of candidates it attracts and instead identify potential employees and graduates that have the skills and capabilities that align with the needs of the business: “While it’s encouraging to see the industry and the British Government acknowledging concerns about skills shortages, it must be prepared to think outside the box in order to address the problems.”
“Expanding on the standardised job descriptors and broadening the search process opens up organisations to a greater range of candidates that have transferable skills which can be adopted into new roles, and this is the mindset the supply chain industry needs to adopt if it is to address the current industry skills shortage.
“Business toolkit’s are readily available within the marketplace that provide objective assessment around people capabilities in order to ensure that the right people are in the right jobs, and therefore consistently doing the right things. By harnessing the power of technology it reduces the subjective – organisations can understand what they need and more importantly what they don’t, in order to align with the processes and objectives of the business,” Howat concludes.