Urgent funding needed over skills shortage in logistics, lobby group says

FTAI calling for urgent help to promote driver-apprenticeship programmes

“It is vital that employers across the industry take a long hard look at the roles on offer to new entrants,” says  Freight Transport Association Ireland’s general manager Aidan Flynn. Photograph: iStock

“It is vital that employers across the industry take a long hard look at the roles on offer to new entrants,” says Freight Transport Association Ireland’s general manager Aidan Flynn. Photograph: iStock

 

Logistics operators have called on the Government to provide urgent funding to reverse the existing skills shortage across the sector in advance of potential threats to Ireland’s supply chain which could arise from Brexit.

The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI), a lobby group representing the sector, said the industry required “urgent help” from Government to attract young people into logistics by promoting driver apprenticeship and structured training programmes.

“It is vital that employers across the industry take a long hard look at the roles on offer to new entrants,” said FTAI general manager Aidan Flynn.

“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.

‘Matter of urgency’

“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,” he added.

Mr Flynn noted that the issues, identified by research carried out by the TU Dublin School of Management for the FTAI, could be overcome if Government-backed appropriate development and apprenticeship programmes.

In the absence of these, he warned, “it will be impossible to move the goods and services which support the Irish economy”.

FTAI represents some of the largest freight and passenger operators in the Republic, with more than 25,000 employees and 10,000 vehicles operating between them.