Labour Shortage Less Talk More Action


Labour Shortage: Less Talk More Action

Skills Shortage

In our previous blog, we discussed the solutions you could look at implementing in your business. This time we’ll be looking at what the Industrial sector is doing to help solve the problem long-term. Does your business have a plan in place to secure its future talent pipeline?

Matt Dann, Thorn Baker Industrial Recruitment Director

It’s no secret that the industry is struggling across the board with a skill and staff shortage – we’ve all been talking about it for what seems like an age. In our last blog Labour Shortage: The Real Life Solutions for Your Business we talked about changes you could look at implementing in your business such as:

  • Focusing on why working for your company is great

  • Up your recruitment budget – it’s competitive out there

  • Work with an agency

  • Be flexible

  • Promote your business online

  • Invest in training

  • Look at your benefits package

But, these solutions really focus on attracting people who are already working. How do we attract new people into the industry?

A survey from CILT has shown that 54% of logistics businesses expect to see skills shortages by 2024, with drivers, warehouse operatives, and back-office vacancies the most urgent to fill. An Edge report shows that demand for transport and logistics employees is 4.6 times higher than young people aspiring to work in the sector.

To compete, thrive and grow in an ever-changing industry, new skills are essential, any business looking to compete for staff in this market must look at their long-term plans as well as the immediate issues. A successful apprenticeship scheme will be central to that.

Elizabeth de Jong, Policy Director at Logistics UK, commented to Logistics UK:

‘The results of the September 2021 Performance Tracker show that the logistics industry is suffering from skills shortages that go beyond HGV drivers; businesses are also facing challenges recruiting for vital roles such as warehouse staff, van drivers, fitters, mechanics, technicians, forklift drivers and transport managers. While we are pleased to see logistics businesses are taking steps to attract and retain HGV drivers – through measures such as pay increases, recruitment drives, and the introduction of apprenticeship and upskilling training schemes – we are concerned that some supply chain disruption will continue until these crucial roles are filled.’

Whilst there may be no specific qualifications needed to get an entry level job as a warehouse worker, there are certain qualifications that can help develop staff further.

Training and progression is always desirable for workers, sometimes even over pay rates. Investigating potential funding that may be available to your business to upskill your staff can only be a good thing. Retention is just as key as recruiting during a skills shortage.


Collaborating with a local training provider like ESS can help you to source funding and take the pressure off when it comes to delivering quality training. Not every business has their own internal training team, this is a great way to ensure your staff can be upskilled effectively.

They can provide Adult Skills Funding to fund a range of qualifications, including their Level 2 in Warehousing & Storage Principles.

The training course provides learners with all the essential knowledge required of basic warehouse work, including how to work efficiently in a team and meet health and safety requirements.

Want to find out more?

If you’re feeling inspired and would like to find out more about how your business could get involved? You can do that right here.

What Are Our Clients Doing In-House?

We’ve had a lot of discussions with our clients around what they are doing themselves to help attract and retain staff and we thought we’d share some of the feedback.

Making the most of an ageing workforce

Instead of worrying about this factor some businesses are embracing their older workers and championing them as trainers for newer/ less experienced staff.

This makes a lot of sense.

Internal Training

A lot of businesses we speak to are focussing on this. The industrial sector is really widespread and finding a common solution will be tricky.

Parity Pay

Applying AWR rates from day one is a strong theme at the moment. Equal treatment of temporary workers from the beginning will boost your employer brand no end. Working for businesses with strong ethics and values is always at the top of peoples lists, this is a quick way to align yourself.

Cross Departmental Pay Scheme

Creating an incremental pay scheme based on how many departments/ skillsets your staff have will create a stronger workforce and could support departments during holiday seasons.

Utilise Your Agency

We’re here to help. We can create solutions for you once we understand your issues any pain points – that’s why this is should an important part of our Proven Process.

A recent example involved a client of ours who was struggling to reduce the time in-between offering someone a role and the contract being delivered. The turnaround time was 4-weeks, which led to them losing valuable candidates. We created a solution for them.

By giving them the option of taking people temporarily whilst waiting for their permanent contract they filled their 32 outstanding positions with ease.

The end result is that the business didn’t suffer and the candidates were happy.

These are just some examples of initiatives that are focusing on a long-term solution for the staffing and skills shortage. The Industrial sector has the potential to offer real career opportunities for young people as well as upskilling people, whatever their background.

Future talent pipeline is something that we talk about a lot as a team, let us know your thoughts on what’s currently available around the skills shortage. Know of another great initiative? Let us know!