Greater investment in education and training for employees will be required to meet the future needs of the transport and logistics industry, according to recent reports by Monash University researchers.
Lead researcher Dr Chandra Shah from the Centre for the Economics of Education and Training (CEET) said appropriate investment in education and training generally means a workforce with a better mix of skills leading to potentially higher productivity, higher labour force participation, lower unemployment and increased incomes and living standards.
In two reports commissioned by the Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) the researchers forecast the labour and skills requirements at the sub-professional level in road transport, logistics and warehousing, aviation, rail, and maritime and ports sectors in Australia and studied the productivity and productivity growth in these industries over the past 10 years.
The study found that the number of transport and logistics workers who held qualifications had risen from 33 per cent in 2002 in 45 per cent in 2012.
Dr Shah said a minimum of about 151,000 people would need to be trained from 2013 – 2017 to meet the needs for qualified workers in the transport and logistics industries.
"Our model suggests that demand for labour and skills in the transport and logistics industries will keep rising," Dr Shah said.
"Not only will employment continue to grow in these areas but the qualifications profile of the workforce is also expected to shift upwards, with more workers holding qualifications and at increasingly higher levels."
The study found employment in the sector had increased by 28 per cent since 2002 with about 800,000 workers employed in 2012.
Dr Shah said the envisaged increase in employment, new job openings and training needs in the transport and logistics industries outlined in the research would provide valuable information for policy makers and industry leaders to develop and invest in appropriate training programs.
"Improving the skills base of the workforce is emerging as a critical factor if Australia is to meet the economic, environmental and social challenges of the future," Dr Shah said.
"It is important that policy makers, management and training providers are aware of the future skills needs within the transport and logistics industry."
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