The lack of skills in this industry is evident in terms of logistics performance. "South Africa is currently ranked number 23 in the world and the country's ability to perform more effectively is largely affected by logistics competence," says researcher Rose Luke, in the 2012 Supply Chain Skills Gap Survey.
South Africa's logistics and supply chain industry requires a practical, skills focused approach to implement a strategy that not only secures the gap between schooling and tertiary education, but between tertiary education and business in the country.
By up skilling and expanding the country's ability, the countries logistics system will improve and ensure we are competitive worldwide.
Therefore, as an industry, we must create support for people coming into the field. A hands-on, equipped level partnership is needed through which the private sector binds the investment of the public sector and vice versa.
South Africa's performance over recent years in education has been lacking, mathematics performance finds the country at the bottom of the world log. At the other end of the scale, South Africa has a keen problem of youth unemployment that requires a divided strategy to raise employment and support inclusion and social structure. An aspect that needs to be addressed is school level education, learner -ships and apprenticeships that are accurately aligned and covers the enormous career possibilities within logistics and supply chain.
Funding should be allocated to skills development. Perhaps the problem lies in the uneven nature of public and private skills development investment. In the public sector alone, many organisations are trying to tackle the challenge. These include training the unemployed; those with entry level workplace experience; learners with disabilities; graduate development bursaries; management training; skills and career development.
The question on a lot of people's mind is: how much potential success is being forfeited because workplace experience within the private sector is not being aligned to public sector investment?
The private sector, government and companies should all gather around the table and have a strategy on filling up the skills gap and what they are going to do next for those people to be employed.
People are a serious enabler of operational and advance excellence in logistics and supply chain management. Attracting, developing and maintaining the right mix of people through commitment of funding and resources are crucial.
Skilled people, coupled with exceptional infrastructure and use of the appropriate technology can ensure sustainability within our logistics industry.
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