Key points for selected transport and logistics occupations
- In 2015, there were approximately 92,000 persons employed in transport and logistics occupations, representing 4.7% of the national workforce.
- Two thirds of those employed (61,000 persons) were road transport operatives (predominantly large goods vehicle and taxi drivers).
- In 2015, overall employment levels were just below the 2010 levels, but 5.6% higher than in 2014 (with almost a net 5,000 additional jobs created in the last year).
- Between 2014 and 2015, positive employment growth rates were observed for most occupations, with the strongest rate (31.8%) for aircraft pilots, ship officers and air traffic controllers (although from a very low base).
- In contrast, employment contracted for other drivers & transport operatives (16.3%).
- Employment levels did not change significantly for most occupations; the most pronounced increase in absolute numbers was observed road transport operatives (particularly, large goods vehicle drivers).
- Almost one third of all employed road transport operatives were aged 55 or older (half of all employed bus & coach drivers was in this age cohort (one of the most mature workforces nationally).
- Overall, the education profile of those employed in the selected occupations was skewed towards lower attainment levels: almost 40% had lower secondary or less qualifications ─ compared to the national average of 15%; only 16% had third level qualifications, considerably below the national average of 48%.
- The majority of those employed in transport occupations were male; most worked full-time
- Approximately a quarter employed in administrative occupations in stock control, transport & distribution and as aircraft pilots, ship officers, air traffic controllers were non-Irish; the share of non-Irish in the remaining occupations was less than the national average of 15%.
'Addressing the demand for Skills in the Freight, Transport, Distribution and Logistics Sector in Ireland 2015-2020'
EFGSN, February 2015
The transport sector will benefit from the economic recovery domestically and globally, as it enables the movement of goods nationally and internationally. However, the extent to which Brexit will impact on the international haulage sector is as yet unclear and, as well as uncertainty regarding the demand for Irish products in the UK (especially food & beverages), changes to customs and freight forwarding procedures may require different skills sets. However, these changes, if any, are not expected in the short-medium term.
Logistics and supply chain
In 2015, shortages of skills relevant to supply chain management were identified; these include transport management, warehouse management, materials management, raw materials forecasting/planning (junior roles), inventory control/planning, freight sales, and freight forwarding (air & ocean); the demand was particularly strong for those with experience, industry specific knowledge (e.g. high tech manufacturing, FMCG), foreign languages and relevant technical skills (e.g. SAP BI and analytics). In 2015, there were almost 90 major awards in logistics and distribution made at NFQ level 5 and 130 third level graduates (NFQ 6-9) from transport/logistics courses in 2014/15.
A shortage of drivers has also been identified. Although there is a large number of job ready drivers seeking employment (5,400 road transport operatives and 2,900 machine drivers in May 2016), some recruitment difficulties are arising due to issues such as age related insurance costs and the lack of experience in relation to the new entrants.
In 2015, an estimated 1,700 truck drivers transitioned to inactivity (mostly to retirement, given that almost one in three truck drivers was over 55). In addition, retention is also identified as an issue, with 5,700 intra-occupational transitions identified in 2015 for truck drivers and 2,200 for machine drivers. Difficulty has been identified in relation to sourcing suitable candidates for a number of driving skills including:
- fork lift drivers
- articulated truck drivers/ heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers
- reach truck drivers
- rigid truck with Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
Within FET, the Road Safety Authority awarded over 600 Driver CPC certificates and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport awarded 265 ADR43 driving certificates to learners on SOLAS funded courses in 2015.
The estimates in the FET service plan for 2016 suggest that almost 4,300 beneficiaries will avail of training in the area of transport and logistics courses (including driving, as well as supply chain administration). If achieved, graduate output from these courses will contribute to closing the existing gap between demand and supply.