As an industry, how do you tackle a long-term shortage of employees, and an aging workforce, when no one knows about you, and what you do?
This is the conundrum which faced the logistics industry for some years, with ongoing staff shortages proving difficult for all areas of the industry. But the start of the global pandemic in 2020 brought the issue to a head, with a lack of qualified employees and a sparse talent pipeline causing headaches for businesses across the sector.
Traditional recruitment paths were not working, so the industry took radical steps to arrest the talent drain. Led by business groups CILT and Logistics UK and backed by a group of forward-thinking businesses of all sizes as well as the government, plans were formulated for a truly ground-breaking campaign for the industry. Generation Logistics marked the first truly cross-industry campaign focused on raising awareness and attracting new talent, with the whole sector working together to achieve its recruitment goals.
Working collaboratively and ignoring individual commercial interests, the campaign’s more than 40 sponsors worked with marketing agency ilk to implement a unique marketing and communications campaign for the industry. The aim? To challenge perceptions of what logistics could offer to individuals, and provoke interactions with potential new workers to encourage them to consider a career in the sector which sits at the heart of all economic activity.
When you consider that the majority of the population had never considered where goods came from until they could not source pasta or a toilet roll back in 2020, the challenge was enormous. Using a variety of tactics, including social media, traditional PR and even on-street advertising posters, and focusing on a comprehensive website “hub” packed with information, a programme of awareness-raising activities was launched to challenge potential recruits to consider logistics as a career. Activity was extended to include the production of the industry’s very first schools’ resources pack, containing guidance and information about the industry, while a network of more than 300 young Ambassadors was established to advise new people through visits to schools, colleges and universities.
The results of year one speak for themselves: Generation Logistics’ campaign created more than 822 million opportunities for messages about the sector to be seen, while almost 800,000 visitors visited its website www.generationlogistics.org for information.
Amazing results indeed, but this is only the start. For its second year, Generation Logistics will focus on two specific audiences – 13-19 year olds and the education sector. Social media will once again play a key role in communicating to younger potential recruits, with topical messaging building on current trends to speak to them where they spend their time, in their words.
Meanwhile, an extensive programme of educational activity will see Generation Logistics brought to schools across the country through a programme of curriculum-mapped activities to demonstrate the breadth and depth of the opportunities that the sector offers.
The campaign will also stage the first Generation Logistics Week, to be held nationwide w/c 24 June 2024, with activities that will attract the next potential cohort of employees to a career in the industry.
For the long term, the ambition is to ensure that logistics is spoken of in the same breath as, say, medicine or accountancy – a career which can provide ongoing progression and fantastic rewards for employees of any age. This is more than a campaign – it is a movement, designed to challenge perceptions and encourage participation to futureproof the sector which underpins all aspects of our economy. To play your part, please visit www.generationlogistics.org, and follow and share its messaging on all social media platforms. Together, we can recruit the workforce which will power the economy for years to come.