First ever LogisTYcs Expo for Transition Year students as job opportunities rise in sector

Minister Jack Chambers welcomed hundreds of students to the first ever LogisTYcs Expo, a special event that showcased the career and educational opportunities available in the critical Logistics and Supply Chain sector, which underpins trade in the Irish and global economies. 

The Minister of State with special responsibility for international and road transport and logistics met with TY students from across Ireland at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena in Blanchardstown, Dublin. The event is part of Logistics and Supply Chain Week 2024, which is now in its second year.

The number of higher education courses that relate to the logistics and supply chain has increased by 40% since 2019. In addition, enrolments in logistics and supply chain apprenticeships over the same time period has increased by around 52%.

However, the sector faces challenges:

  • Just 31% of workers in the Logistics and Supply Chain Sector are female by comparison with 47% in the wider economy.
  • At the same time, one in four truck & van drivers are 55 years and older.
  • 43% of other drivers and operatives are 55 years and older.

At the event, students were briefed by author, comedian and ‘Climate Worrier’ Colm O’Regan, acting as MC. Also taking part was Aoife McNamara, a young Irish fashion designer with ‘B Corp’ social and environmental certification, who talked about her career and the importance of sustainable supply chains.

In addition, four young apprentices working in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector participated in a panel discussion with Colm O’Regan on their experiences and career paths.

Students later split up into teams of six to take part in a LogisTYcs game where they embarked on a series of challenges to earn points as they explore the Expo. QR codes throughout the Expo provide access to different game elements such as photo challenges, trivia and participation in different activities with well-known exhibitors.

At the event, Minister Chambers said: “There is a severe labour and skills shortage in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector. We need more young people, more women and more diverse talent to consider education and careers in the sector. This event aims to raise awareness of the vast number of exciting opportunities for young people in this vital sector. From freight forwarding and data analytics to driving, warehousing and everything in between, there is a huge array of roles and careers possible in logistics and supply chain.”

Other details of the event in brief:

  • Exhibitors at the LogisTYcs expo included: Amazon, DPD, Lidl, Primeline, Kuehne & Nagel, Road Safety Authority (including Shuttle Bus), Aramex, Iarnród Éireann Rail Freight, Gas Networks Ireland, Manna Drones, DFDS and Aramex. Driving simulators provided by Virtual Driving Hub (Barry Keatley) and DPD.
  • Education and training providers exhibiting at the event include: TU Dublin, Logistics Associate Apprenticeship/Commercial Driving Apprenticeship/Freight Transport Association of Ireland, University of Limerick & IPICS The Supply Chain Management Institute, National Maritime College of Ireland & Munster Technological University, Trinity College Dublin, South East Technological University, Irish International Freight Association, Innopharma Labs, Ballyfermot College of Further Education, City of Dublin Education & Training Board and Generation Apprenticeship.
  • There will be an outside expo area with vehicles on display –
    • A Volvo electric HGV provided by Irish Commercials, Roy Cooney, Naas
    • A Natural Gas powered truck provided by Gas Networks Ireland
    • Euro 6 diesel truck provided by Ger Hyland Transport (current President of the Irish Road Haulage Association)
    • An electric van provided by Amazon Prime

“The objective of the Logistics and Supply Chain Skills Week was to encourage students, new entrants, and career changers to consider education and careers in logistics and supply chain, and to inspire an industry-wide discussion on the challenges and opportunities of building resilient, future-proof, and sustainable supply chains,” continued the Minister.

“But there is a labour and skills shortage in the sector. We need more young people, more women and more diverse talent to consider education and careers in Logistics and Supply Chain.

The Logistics and Supply Chain sector will have a key role to play in tackling the global climate challenge. Professionals working in the sector are key decision makers on what products get made, how they are packaged and transported and how waste is managed at the end of a supply chain. By harnessing digital innovations, supporting transition to green technologies and maximising the potential of circular economy, logistics and supply chain can play a crucial role in creating a truly sustainable, climate-neutral society.”