Staffordshire and the distribution industry
- Staffordshire’s central location, cost effective base and availability of large development sites has attracted a significant number of distribution employers into the area including FedEx, Amazon, GAP and Palletforce.
- The sector has seen a 13% growth in employment in recent years and is expected to continue to grow in the near future.
- There is an increasing demand for managers and higher level skills.
- Although rewarding, some roles may require shift work including evenings, nights and weekends.
- There are still significantly more males than females working within the sector.
- There is a big demand for younger, replacement employees due to an ageing workforce.
The UK picture
The UK economy and way of life are highly dependant upon effective transport and distribution. Transport, logistics and distribution industries are concerned with the safe and efficient movement of people and products throughout the UK and abroad. Nearly all the products that the country uses pass through the logistics supply chain. This includes items like food, materials, equipment, liquids as well as abstract items, such as time, information and energy.
The sector is dominated by small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with only 1% of organisations employing more than 250 people.
Job roles in the sector include:
- Managers of operations, distribution and transport.
- Safety specialists such as air traffic controllers, driving instructors and examiners, railway station assistants, conductors and signalers who all ensure that vehicle operators are following strict health and safety regulations.
- Schedulers and planners involved in coordinating staff and goods.
- Warehouse staff that select, package and prepare items for delivery.
- Customer service staff to take orders answer queries and be the public face.
- Drivers and operators of all forms of transport – air and land.
Jobs in this sector are very varied and at many different levels which can provide many opportunities for career development. Jobs can be based in a wide variety of locations, including airports, railway yards, warehouses and offices and most require some degree of travelling.
Qualifications and routes
There are a various types of qualifications available that are valued by employers and would help your child to get into the sector:
It is not necessary to have a degree, as entry into the profession can be directly from school. The necessary skills can be obtained through a combination of experience, short courses and private study. Many professionals within this sector do have formal qualifications.
A good standard of english and maths are extremely useful for jobs within the sector. Progression to managerial jobs would probably require BTEC, Higher National Diploma, degree or higher apprenticeship.
To find out more about the qualifications needed in this sector visit the Delivering your Future website or the Skills for Logistics website which is managed by the Sector Skills Council.
General skills needed
Employers are looking to employ people who posses the following skills:
- Team working
- Customer handling skills
- Good oral communication
- Good written communication skills
- Ability to drive (for 18 year olds and above)
Types of jobs in this sector
Click on the links below to see the National Careers Services job profile with details of what’s involved, hours, salary, and entry requirements or search at National Careers Service.