A recent blog post from DB Schenker in Europe has a fairly challenging headline:
59% of supply chain executives feel that the success of their organizations will depend extensively on available talent by 2019.
We contrast that with the feedback we get from companies, and it generally goes along the lines of how hard it is to find good young people.
It seems there is a classic gulf arising between the number and increasing skill requirements of jobs, and the supply of 'good young people'. A quick TradeMe Jobs search lists about 1000 jobs for Supply Chain/Logistics this morning in Auckland alone.
This type of scenario is explained by misunderstandings. Let's face it, the industry does not make itself look attractive, nor explain the incredible variety of work, skills and opportunities within Supply Chain/Logistics.
The next misunderstanding, is the perception of young people, especially their attitudes. Are the attitudes of young people that radically different to those of an older generation? Perhaps in some ways? But their desires to earn a living, use their brain a bit and settle into a good job - that is no different to you and I when we fell out of education into the workforce. The biggest difference is that the pressure levels the young people are loaded with today are generally more than we had. The pressures of income, debt, education, family, church, peer and school demands are complex and constant. Adding to that lot, our homogeneous NZ society is now a multi-cultural whirlpool. There simply isn't one set of values about work that we all subscribe to - it's diverse, complex and interesting.
All up, it's a changed landscape but one which is really invigorating. To successfully get a young person to engage with your workplace, its systems and rules etc, it is going to require workplaces to make an effort to engage with them in their world. This doesn't mean massively changing what you do, quite the opposite, but genuinely finding ways to understand the individual as more than a productive unit. Find ways to respect more of their whole lives and you'll find a lasting engaged employee who will grow and add value in ways you only wish of now.