With the UK desperately trying to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, experts have warned that UK output growth is being hindered by supply chain disruption and labour shortages throughout the warehousing and logistics sector – something that calls for a new approach according to material handling experts, Midland Pallet Trucks.
As many HGV drivers returned home to the EU following Brexit, the output of transport firms has been acutely affected by recruitment challenges. A lack of qualified staff and low wages are being blamed for the industry’s inability to attract and retain the skills they need to keep up with growing demand for goods from across the UK and Europe.
The UK-wide HGV driver shortage combined with global supply issues has also caused UK manufacturing sector lead times to significantly increase to the longest they have been since the peak of the pandemic in April 2020. The UK government has also been accused of being slow to react to the needs of the industry.
In a bid to attract and retail HGV drivers, many businesses are having to offer significantly higher than average salaries just to stop empty shelves appearing in stores. As a result, smaller companies are finding it harder than ever before to compete for the staff they need to keep operational wheels turning.
Warehouse workers and other members of the supply chain are experiencing a knock-on effect, with warehousing space shortages reaching unprecedented levels and productivity pressures continuing to rise.
A sector that is also experiencing high levels of staff vacancies, the government has blamed ‘poverty wages’ on its inability to engage new workers in warehouses across the UK, but Midland Pallet Trucks, a provider of high-quality lifting equipment including pallet trucks, manual stacker trucks and lift tables, believes that a new approach is needed to make these roles a more attractive proposition.
“As employers with a large warehouse facility ourselves, the misconception that a role in warehousing and logistics is a ‘dead-end job’ simply isn’t true and must be addressed to help attract fresh talent to an industry that’s crying out for change,” says Phil Chesworth, Managing Director at Midland Pallet Trucks.
He continues, “Secondly, warehousing employers need to ensure that they reduce the workload on their current employees by ensuring that they have access the high-quality, well-maintained materials handling equipment to reduce the risk of workplace accidents and make life easier for the people who work tirelessly to keep our shelves stocked and the supply chain moving.”