Transport employers forecast workforce gains, according to ManpowerGroup. With an outlook of +5%, hiring prospects for the final months of 2015 are seven percentage points stronger than those forecast for quarter three.
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,101 UK employers. It asks whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter. It is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind and is used as a key economic statistic by both the Bank of England and the UK government.
Simon Edwards, Operations Director at Manpower, says: ‘We’re coming up to a busy time of year, with logistics operators setting out their plans for delivering the nation’s Christmas gifts. While a good deal of this will be getting products on to the high street, e-commerce is generating many transport-related job opportunities.
‘Last year, retailers and delivery companies took a lot of flack for the backlog of deliveries caused by Black Friday and Cyber Monday discount events. As a result, we’re seeing many delivery networks re-evaluating the levels of their seasonal workforces – and also engaging them earlier – to handle the extra demand generated by pre-Christmas sales.’
While a positive hiring outlook signals good news for those seeking work in the transport sector, Simon warns, ‘With more employers competing to hire the best people, talent shortages are set to worsen. Driver shortages, for instance, are making it difficult for logistics businesses to respond quickly during peak periods. We’re working with a number of clients on their attraction and retention strategies to minimise the impacts. Top candidates are in the driving seat.’
Simon adds, ‘Schemes such as ‘Think Logistics’ will be crucial to tackling talent shortages in the long term. The sector as a whole must make itself more attractive to young people to secure its future. Diversity is key and we’re working with a number of organisations looking to attract new talent into the industry from a variety of backgrounds.’