Industry Insights – Warehousing and Logistics – 22/10/2019

Warehouse Workers

The Skills and Jobs Centre is pleased to be partnering with Wyndham City Council to host a series of Industry Insights panels in Werribee. These Industry Insight Panels are a part of a broader scope of work Council is doing to provide employment pathways to Wyndham community members with an emphasis on the Humanitarian Migrant and Asylum Seeker communities.

In October, we were delighted to be joined by three large employers in the Warehousing and Logistics industry sector who very generously gave up some of their time to share some insights into gaining employment in this booming sector in the Wyndham region.

Did you know that the average age of a truck driver is 53? Did you know that transport is one of the few industries where men and women receive equal pay? With 72 different roles in the Transport and Logistics sector, there is sure to be a role of interest to you.

On the panel, we were joined by;

Jacquelene Brotherton – Transport Manager – Oxford Cold Storage

Oxford Cold Storage are one of Australia’s leading providers of third party temperature controlled warehousing. They offer racked storage for over 165,000 pallets and bulk storage for about 20,000 pallets at temperatures between +18°C & -29°C. The facility has the capacity to freeze 12,000 cartons, carcasses and quarter beef daily. In her spare time, Jacquelene is an active member and chair of several refrigerated transport committees and was recently awarded Business Person of the Year at the 2019 Wyndham Business Awards.

Oxford Cold Storage commenced operation in 1975 and the 94 year old Chairman of business still comes to work every day! There are employees who started working at Oxford as Christmas casuals over school holidays in the 1970’s and are still working there today! So when it comes to having a great workplace culture, they must be doing a thing or two right.

One really important thing to note about Oxford Cold Storage, is that all new staff commence employment through a labour hire organisation. While long-term roles might become available over time and in certain areas, most of the work is available on a permanent casual basis. One of the most important attributes staff can have at Oxford is a willingness to learn and a willingness to work. Jacquelene also shared some insights about innovation in the Warehousing and Logistics sector and made the observation that the inability to attract warehousing staff is driving the industry towards automation, however when it comes to autonomous truck driving, she doesn’t believe that Australia has the infrastructure to see that happening any time soon.

Paul Daybell – National Account Director (Government) & Marty Arulappu – Warehouse Manager – Complete Office Solutions (COS) 

COS was founded in 1976 as a local office stationery business in Western Sydney. In those early days COS had two staff and the top selling item was typewriter ribbon. 40 years later COS sells over 21,000 products with over 500 staff, and offices and warehouses in very state and territory…basically they can supply anything in an office, except the walls and the lights! COS have a very strong reputation of embracing diversity with 52% of their workforce being women, 56% of their management team being women and boasting the first female Co-CEO’s in Australia. Paul presented a video showing COS’s impressive commitment to corporate social responsibility.

Luke Day – Senior Recruitment Team Leader – Operations – TOLL Group

With over 125 years’ experience, Toll Group, operates an extensive global logistics network across 1,200 locations in more than 50 countries. Our 40,000 employees provide a diverse range of transport and logistics solutions covering road, air, sea and rail to meet global supply chain needs.

Luke presented a video which showed the diversity of roles available at TOLL, from Truck Drivers to Pick/Packers to Air Pilots and Sea Captains and just a couple of Call Centre Operators! The video also clearly outlined that TOLL are “safety obsessed”. 

One thing I learned about TOLL is that they actually have a recruitment business (TOLL People) which recruits for TOLL Group as well as other organisations and they supply over 1000 temp staff to over 100 locations in Victoria every day! TOLL People have really strong partnerships with Job Active providers and often recruit people from all walks of life into entry level roles, giving them a much needed start in this sector. As Luke put it, TOLL People recruit with heart. 

So if you’re considering applying for one of the 72 different job roles in this sector, where do you start? Well, first things first, a Forklift license is absolutely essential, so make sure you have one before starting to apply for roles in this sector. If you have additional licenses including truck licences, but don’t have any experience driving trucks, be open to starting in a different role such as Picker/Packer. All companies stressed that there are plenty of opportunities to shine, so show employers that you are eager and want to work, show enthusiasm for their organisation and work hard at any task you are given and before you know it you too might be behind the wheel of a $350,000 Kenworth.

Seek is still the most used platform to advertise vacancies, however both COS and Oxford Cold Storage were open to a direct approach by job-seekers. Before you knock on their door though, make sure that both you and your resume are well presented. You don’t need to be dressed in a suit and tie, smart casual is appropriate for this industry and as for your resume, one page of relevant content is also appropriate. In the Warehousing and Logistics sector, the ability to work as part of a team is critical, so when you’re making a direct approach to an employer, make sure they know you are not a lone wolf. Include a couple of good references on your resume and be able to show (and tell) how your skills and experience match what an employer is looking for.

Many thanks to our panel for being so generous with their time, it was great to receive some current tips and tricks to help put our best foot forward.

Come along to our free monthly series of workshops at the Skills and Jobs Centre at 24 Watton Street, Werribee or book a one-on-one appointment with a Careers Counsellor by calling 5225 0700.

The next Industry Insights panel will be on 26 November and will feature employment in Building and Construction, including how to secure an apprenticeship. Follow the Skills and Jobs Centre on Facebook for information about upcoming Industry Insights panels.

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