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Census shows need for logistics employment focus: Isuzu chief

Following an in-depth review of the latest Census employment data, Phil Taylor, Director and Chief Operating Officer of Isuzu Australia, has called for transport and logistics stakeholders to consider the future prosperity of the industry.

Taylor noted that the Census revealed that the logistics workforce is ageing, while demand for freight is growing rapidly.

"The release of more detailed Census data in October last year provides even more compelling insights into the transport and logistics sector, and the picture it paints is cause for reflection," he said. "In the 2001 Census, the average age of transport and storage workers was 35 to 44 years. In last year's Census, the average transport, portal and warehousing employee had ages to be between 45 and 54 years old.

"We need to ensure that the operations knowledge of the current generation of transport and logistics professionals isn't lost forever - the industry needs to start having the tough conversations about what can be done so a younger crop of professionals can inherit the wisdom of the industry's current employees."

He noted that employment in the sector grew 28 per cent in the previous 15 years, while freight grew by 40 per cent.

Worker shortages in the transport and logistics sector will impact on all Australians," he said. "An issue this broad needs a collaborative effort to generate innovative and meaningful solutions."

Taylor praised the Federal Government's $760 million Youth Jobs PaTH program, announced in the FY16/17 budget. "[The program] has created a circumstance where transport companies can partner with the Department of Employment to establish trial programs within the industry that aim to deliver tangible solutions in response to one of the most significant issues out industry is presently facing.

"The reality is that hiring employees is an expense for companies, and that many small-to-medium operators in the transport and logistics sector aren't willing to take it on, especially if the feel any new employee might not be equipped with the skills necessary to hit the ground running."

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