First ever Logistics & Supply Chain Skills Week officially opens

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Jack Chambers, Minister of State with special responsibility for international and road transport and logistics, will officially open the first ever Logistics and Supply Chain Skills Week on Monday (27 March) as the movement of goods into and out of Ireland reaches record levels.

Logistics Week (27 March – 1 April) aims to raise awareness of the career opportunities available to students and career changers and to engage supply chain executives on the future skills needed within the sector.

In 2022, Ireland’s export of goods reached a record level of €208 billion, an increase of more than €42 billion compared with 2021. Imports also reached a record level of €140 billion in 2022, up 35% compared with 2021.

Ireland’s resilient supply chain enables this level of trade movement into and out of the country and Logistics Week offers an opportunity to support the future proofing of this important sector.

Employment in the sector has grown in recent years, with more than 100,000 people or 4.4% of the national workforce working in logistics. However, this growth has been less than across the economy overall and more people are needed to join the sector now and into the future.

Minister of State Chambers, who will attend the first event of Logistics Week in Rosslare on Monday, said: “We’re hosting the first ever Logistics and Supply Chain Skills Week to showcase the career opportunities available to those who are just starting out or those who are looking for a career change. We are looking to diversify the sector which offers a broad range of education and training opportunities including ‘earn as you learn’ apprenticeship programmes, with progression to degree and management opportunities. Young people and women are underrepresented in the industry at present, and we want to attract them to these careers as we plan for the future development and sustainability of our supply chains.

“This sector is at the heart of our economy, and we all rely on it every day of the week. From the food in our supermarkets and on our tables to the medicines which keep us well, our island nation is connected in every sense because of our supply chains. They provide the technological devices which we use, the toys our children play with and ensure we can get valuable items from around the globe delivered to our door.”

A number of events will be held, including in-person, hybrid and online events organised in co-operation with stakeholder representatives from academia and industry. Key events during the week include:

The Logistics and Supply Chain sector is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, supporting all sectors of the economy by facilitating both international and domestic trade.

It involves the movement of goods around the world by road, rail, sea and air as well as managing supply, demand, distribution and procurement operations.

Top Ten Facts about the Logistics and Supply Chain Sector  

  • In 2022, Ireland’s exports of goods reached a record level of €208 billion, an increase of more than €42 billion compared with 2021.
  • Imports also reached a record level of €140 billion in 2022, up 35% compared with 2021.
  • Irish ports handled nearly 54 million tonnes of goods in 2021. This represents an increase of 5% compared with 2020. Goods forwarded from Irish ports amounted to 17.4 million tonnes in 2021, while a total of 36.5 million tonnes of goods were received.
  • In 2021, Irish road freight operators covered a total distance of 1.7 billion kilometres. Vehicles carrying foodstuffs contributed more kilometres to this total than vehicles carrying any other type of commodity.
  • In 2021, a total of 154.9 million tonnes of goods was transported by road. Vehicles delivering goods to road works or building sites carried 57.9 million tonnes in 2021, which was more than to any other type of destination.
  • In 2021 Ireland’s main airports handled a total of 160,855 tonnes of freight in 2021, the vast majority (91%) of which was international freight. This was an increase of 10% in freight handled in 2021 when compared with 2019.
  • There are 113,100 people employed in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector, representing 4.4% of the national workforce.
  • Around 80% of employees in the sector are male and only 2.2% of qualified HGV drivers are female.
  • Average weekly earnings for people working in the transport and storage sector were €886.40 (at the end of 2022). This was 7% more than earned in both 2021 and 2019.
  •  Drivers’ basic salary was €41,395 in 2022, up from €34,394 in 2019.