Just think of the amount of people and goods on the move every minute of every day throughout Ireland and beyond.
Firstly there are the people who drive the trucks, buses, trains and aircraft (Transport). Then there are the people who organise, co-ordinate and timetable the swift transfer of goods from point of origin to point of destination (Logistics). This section of the economy involves occupations predominantly employed in transport itself, but also in storage and communications as well as the wholesale and retail sector.
Trucks - large, medium, and small, thousands of them - are on the move every day of the year. This creates a large demand for manpower in this area.
And what might it take for you to become a working member of this industry?
Truck transportation employers often require that driver applicants be at least 18-years of age, have a good driving record, and have the ability to pass a written examination. Government and EU regulations also may require most drivers of large trucks to hold a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) from their country of residence.
Warehouse employers do not have as many specific requirements, but usually seek employees - labourers and hand freight, stock, and material movers - who are reliable and capable of doing physically demanding work quickly and accurately.
Today over 88,000 drivers, mechanics, warehouse workers, and others are part of the Irish truck transportation and warehousing industry. Most work is full-time employment, but good part-time jobs are also available. Wages and benefits vary by the type of transportation system and its location.
For over 100 years Railroad Transportation has moved freight and passengers across Ireland. CIE are investing heavily in upgrading railway lines in order to bring the rail transport network to international standard. The number expected to travel by rail is expected to rise substantially over the next 5 years.
Train drivers, engineers and operators; railroad brake, signal, and switch operators; - all these career opportunities are expected to slowly increase over the years ahead as the numbers using the trains expands.
Ireland is an island nation at the edge of Europe. For this reason air transport is crucial to our economy. For example Dublin airport is increasing passengers by 2 million people each year. A second terminal for Dublin airport is underway which will create additional employment.
Pilots and flight attendants may be the most visible employees, but did you realise that 2 out of every 3 workers in this industry work in a ground occupation?
Aircraft mechanics, service technicians, cargo and baggage handlers, reservation and ticket agents - these are just some of the occupations needed to run today's commercial and charter airlines.
Captains, deck mates, marine mechanics, and pilots are just some of the occupations needed for ferry companies. Ferries continue to become more luxurious making them more attractive for people to use when travelling to Europe and Britain.
Career and employment opportunities in water transportation are expected to slowly increase over the next 10 years while additional openings will occur to replace those experienced individuals who will retire. [see sector profile 'Maritime, Fishing & Aqua-culture'
Urban commuter rail such as the LUAS in Dublin, buses, motor coaches, taxicabs, and school buses - all require trained, safe drivers and operators as well as mechanics, dispatchers, and others to transport adults and children.
Many transit employers require that driver applicants be at least 18-years of age and have a good driving record. Government regulations may require drivers of multi-passenger vehicles to hold a Commercial Driver's Licence. While no level of education is specified the better the persons’ basic communication and numeric skills, the more attractive they are to any potential employer.
Logistics (and supply chain management) is concerned with the management of the flow of goods and information from the point of supply to the point of final consumption. More simply it has been described as getting the right product, in the right quantity, of the right quality, in the right place, at the right time, for the right customer at the right cost!
A manufacturer's ability to provide such a service is not just determined by the manufacturer's skill or expertise in running his/her own operation. No degree of improvement in the company itself can make up for suppliers not delivering, delivering wrongly or late. Inefficient production methods add additional uncertainties and unnecessary costs. This is where logistics professionals are needed.
Opportunities in this area are mainly for graduates or experienced people with specialist knowledge in the transportation of goods. Sample careers include:
- Distribution Co-ordinator
- Logistics Planner
- Supply Chain Manager
- Operations Manager
- Transport Manager
Despite the fact that a new degree course in Dublin Institute of Technology is now available, there is still evidence of a shortage of transport managers, in particular, persons with relevant skills to manage integrated supply chains in the indigenous sector.