Watch the webinar
- Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive, British Ports Association
- Matthew Fell, Chief Policy Director, CBI
- Jennifer Beckwith, Head of Employment Policy, CBI
- Liz Moseley, Editor and Partner, Tortoise Media (Chair)
In this session:
- Supply-chains: current issues have their origins in stop and start nature of Covid.
- Result, increased lead times, unpredictable, pushing up costs "everyone wants the same stuff asap".
- Labour: there is currently a "complete war for talent"
- Energy: global issue, wholesale gas prices. Reliance on gas in our energy and electricity mix.
- While consumer dominates headlines - link to cost of living. Pushes up inflation by 1-2%, it’s hurting businesses too, on top of labour and supplies. Particularly for energy intensive sectors. Energy suppliers too - impact of price cap linked to wholesale prices.
- These "cocktail of issues" facing firms are diverting attention away from long-term trends - future of work, and net zero, and growth.
- Real gap between labour supply the UK has and the demand for labour. Vacancies continue to be at a record high.
- In addition, 4000 people of working age left the workforce during the pandemic and this is putting lots of pressures on firms.
- On demand side – big reopening and strong customer demand.
- Demand for certain roles has also changed: big shift to ecommerce and home delivery – we won’t go away – so we’ll need more logistics workers and haulage operatives.
- In addition, shift to remote / hybrid working means cybersecurity professionals in more demand.
- Means that competition is fierce and not just local labour market pressures but competition from employers in cities or other locations.
- Cost of living pinch: likely that pressure on wages means an incentive for people to re-enter labour market, but on early retirement this is voluntary.
- Likely to see these pressures continue to the labour market for around 18 months – 2 years.
- Picture on pay increases – won’t be sustainable for firms unless backed up by productivity increases.
- Ports employ 115,000 across the UK – big employers.
- Container shortages have caught the attention of the media – a very global market, takes a lot of goods.
- Storage / demand / warehousing – the sector still hasn’t got to grips with this fully but getting there.
- Demand is also causing inflationary cost pressures but has started to settle down.
- Expecting supply chain issues for another year.
- Perfect storm of labour shortages and leaving the EU causing issues: fewer domestic drivers in the UK, goods arriving in UK ports are taking longer.
- Next 12 months: Brexit, costs and time with new arrangements, logistics sector is just going to have to take on the chin.