Logistics & Supply Chain Skills Week 2024 launched

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Jack Chambers, Minister of State with special responsibility for international and road transport and logistics, will today launch Logistics and Supply Chain Skills Week 2024, which runs this week until Saturday 2 March. The week of events will open this morning with an IBEC conference which will explore the crucial role that diversity and inclusion can play in future-proofing Ireland’s vital supply chain network.

The Logistics and Supply Chain sector involves the movement of goods around the world by road, rail, sea, and air as well as management of supply, demand, distribution, and procurement operations. It is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, supporting all sectors of the economy by facilitating both international and domestic trade. 69% of workers in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector are male, while 31% are female. 25% of truck & van drivers are 55 years and older and 43% of other drivers & operatives are 55 years and older. The sector needs more young people, more women and more diverse talent to secure the vital role that it will play in the future of Ireland’s economy and in the global climate challenge.

Logistics and Supply Chain Skills Week aims 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. Logistics Week will consist of a mix of in-person and online events at locations around the country.

Minister Chambers commented: “The Logistics and Supply Chain sector underpins Ireland’s economy. It is vital to the success of Irish businesses and to the life of Irish citizens and communities. International crises such as COVID-19, the war in Ukraine and recent events in the Red Sea continue to highlight the critical importance of this often-invisible process, without which the economy does not function.

But there is a severe 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.”

IBEC CEO Danny McCoy said: “The Irish economy heavily relies on the efficiency of logistics and supply chains, with imports totalling €141 billion and exports amounting to €208 billion in 2022. Additionally, the Transportation & Storage sector accounted for nearly €10 billion in Gross Value Added to the Irish economy in 2022. Any threat to our supply chain reliance is a challenge that should not be underestimated. We are delighted to support the government’s initiatives aimed at promoting the need for skills across all aspects of supply chains. This year, Ibec is placing particular emphasis on the greater role diversity and inclusion can play in broadening the skills base for the sector. Ibec sees a real opportunity to unlock untapped talent pools and bridge skill gaps. Embracing diversity and inclusion not only broadens our talent base but also fosters a more robust and future-proof supply chain network.”

To view a full schedule of the events taking place during Logistics and Supply Chain Skills Week 2024 and for further information on the logistics and supply chain sector in Ireland, visit gov.ie/LogisticsWeek and follow the hashtag #LogisticsWeek on social media.

Key statistics 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 over €140 billion in 2022, up 35% compared with 2021.
  • The number of higher education courses that relate to logistics and supply chain has increased by 40% since 2019.
  • The number of enrolments in these courses over the same time period has increased by approximately 52%.  
  • Digital skills account for 3 out of the top 15 skills required in online job adverts in the Logistics and Supply Chain sector.