Urgent call to improve skills gap – survey

In a recent industry-wide survey, professionals from various sectors have highlighted the key areas that demand urgent attention for improved efficiency and seamless operations. The survey, conducted by Metro Minds, has found that the triad of communication skills, technical knowledge and training – along with adaptability to problem-solving – are the pivotal areas that require strategic focus for continued industry success.

Speaking to Freight News, Metro Minds managing director Juliette Fourie said improving these skills within the freight forwarding and customs industry was essential to enhancing efficiency, client satisfaction and overall performance. “Addressing the skills gap through training, education and a focus on continuous improvement can lead to a more successful and competitive industry,” she said. “Other skills that appear to be important in the logistics industry include analytical skills, problem-solving, innovation, geographical awareness and technology. “It is important to note that the importance of certain skills may vary, depending on the specific role and company within the logistics industry.”

She said the survey of executives in the industry highlighted the fact that skills development and human capital needed more attention. “Specifically, it requires a more personalised, customised approach,” she said, adding that it made sense to engage the services of training institutions like Metro Minds for this purpose. “In response to key skills development strategies, the executives we interviewed emphasised a people-centric approach. They believe that focusing on people development is fundamental to achieving business goals, with succession planning and individual development plans being targeted to key personnel.” She said companies were taking different approaches to this, be it launching leadership development programmes or investing in private training institutions to address the skills gap. “One executive admitted that there was currently a misalignment between training efforts and business strategy,” said Fourie.

Looking ahead, she said, the industry will have to focus its efforts not only on attracting the right talent, but also on retaining their skills. “Motivating employees, building an employer brand, fostering a values-based culture, and developing people capabilities through functional workplace academies and simulated courses run by service providers like Metro Minds is critical in the current workplace.”

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