A LOOMING capability shortage in supply chain and logistics in Australia has prompted the development of a “career mapping tool” to encourage a new generation of talent.

The digital Supply Chain Career Map developed by Deakin’s Centre for Supply Chain and Logistics showcases more than 150 supply chain roles in 18 sectors. 

Dr Hermione Parsons, director of CSCL and co-chair of Wayfinder: Supply Chain Careers for Women, an industry initiative established to increase supply chain sector diversity, said the Supply Chain Career Map aimed to show the huge range of career opportunities available.

“We want people to see supply chain and logistics as an interesting profession with a great future and not just ‘fall into it’ as has been the case so often in the past,” Dr Parsons said.

“Recent forecasting by DHL revealed that demand for supply chain professionals may soon outstrip supply by six to one.

“Now, more than ever – with the pandemic placing unprecedented stress on a sector already experiencing unprecedented transformation – we need to break down some of the barriers to talent acquisition in the sector and that’s exactly what we hope the Career Map will do.”

Dr Parsons said recent research done by the Centre – funded by Wayfinder’s national partner Food Innovation Australia Ltd and the Wayfinder sponsor companies – highlighted lack of diversity and poor understanding of the sector as key barriers.

“The sector currently has an aging and largely male workforce, and its traditionally poor image and lack of visibility presents a major challenge for recruitment,” Dr Parsons said.

“Increasing diversity in the sector is a key focus for Wayfinder, and the Career Map includes embedded videos which showcase inspirational women working across many key roles at all levels in the sector.”

Belinda Flynn, general manager, safety, health and sustainability at QUBE and co-chair of Wayfinder, hopes the Map will help break down the stereotypical image that supply chain careers are for males only.

“We know that career and education course choices are made on the basis of access to robust internet information, this digital resource provides this access,” Ms Flynn said.

“We believe it will be an important tool to encourage people at all stages of their career to explore the opportunities supply chain can offer and to transfer into the sector.”

FIAL managing director Mirjana Prica said effective and efficient supply chains require a diverse and talented workforce.

“Australian food and agricultural products depend on supply chains to reach their customers and markets nationally and internationally,” Dr Prica said.

“The Digital Supply Chain Career Map will highlight different roles in the sector. FIAL is delighted to be able to support this project and hopes it encourages people to consider a career in supply chain.”