More creative approach needed to bridge the skills gap, says Rhenus UK

6th November 2015

Logistics BusinessMore creative approach needed to bridge the skills gap, says Rhenus UK

A more flexible approach to graduate recruitment could help to fill the transport sector’s worsening skills gap, according to freight forwarder Rhenus UK. Faced with an ageing employee profile and a traditional image, the supply chain industry is finding it tough to compete for top graduates in the race to attract fresh blood into the sector. David Williams, managing director of Rhenus UK, believes that taking a more open minded approach to recruitment will pay dividends in the long term.

Instead of competing with industries such as accounting, marketing, banking and IT head on for talent, Rhenus’ UK operation has recruited graduates based on their transferable skills and attitudes, rather than the obvious relevance of their degree. A case in point is 2014 graduate intake student Michael Beeston, who completed a degree in archaeology from Cardiff University.

David Williams comments: “While a degree in archaeology may not appear to be immediately relevant to the movement of goods across the world, our more flexible assessment process identified that this candidate had strong maths skills, great interpersonal experience and also had a genuine interest in the logistics sector.

“Since he commenced our graduate last year, Michael has worked with the Rhenus team in six different countries and has really begun to learn how a global logistics business operates.”

While Williams is appreciative of the good work undertaken by the CILT and other industry bodies, he believes that more needs to be done to maintain the supply chain sector’s skills quotient.