The need for temporary and contract labour in the UK’s logistics sector has increased, while many permanent vacancies have been cancelled. Wayne Brophy, director at Cast UK, a leading recruitment consultancy in Supply Chain, says very few of their clients are looking to fill permanent jobs at present due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
As demand for online groceries and parcel deliveries has surged, companies need more low-skilled labour. Another problem businesses are facing is that many of their permanent staff are self-isolating and in some cases firms lack the right people to provide cover. Additionally, Brophy explains that many companies have seen an increase in one part of the business with a decrease in another area at the same time. All this combined adds to the overall pressure the industry is experiencing when it comes to labour.
Large logistics providers have started to move people around so they can fill in gaps where necessary.
Investing in change
More and more experts are sounding the alarm by saying that in the near future logistics will come to rely heavily on automation and this will have a great impact on the labour force. Companies that have invested in technologies and automation could see their businesses flourish whereas others, who have not done so, will lag behind. ‘I think what we could see, coming out of the current pandemic, is that...
... companies will look at how they can be more competitive against e-commerce firms, those who already have a grip on automation,’ explained Brophy.
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Going forward firms are likely to look at their labour numbers and carefully consider if they reflect real needs and whether economies could be made. Demand will undoubtedly increase for people who are able to lead digital transformation, operate autonomous systems and understand the new environment. Others will need to reskill in order to remain competitive in the marketplace.
Wayne set up Cast UK in 2005 as a sole recruiter and has successfully grown the company to provide nationwide coverage from offices in Manchester, Birmingham and London. With a team of 30, Cast UK is an award winning recruitment business providing professional level procurement, buying, supply chain, logistics and HR candidates on a permanent, interim or contract basis.