YOUNG people bring creativity, curiosity, energy, impatience, attitude and guts. They are generally confident, able to multi-task and are tech savvy. So, why is it so crucial we empower them, when it seems they already have it all?

Some context
It’s no secret that businesses are expanding every day, presenting new and exciting challenges, with plenty of work to go around. The logistics industry is no exception. With so many individuals working in this sector under the age of 30, we are given an opportunity with endless possibilities. These fresh-minded people are eager to create a foundation for a long-term career path, keen to develop their knowledge pool and grow their bank balance. While experience is vital; reassurance, training and development are the three key aspects to assisting those who are eager to improve their skill sets.

New technology

Technological advancements, 3D-printing, autonomous vehicles, these are just some of the areas that are expected to have a massive impact on the logistics industry. With so many potential prospects existing and young minds to actively contribute to the changes ahead, it seems only fitting we put our efforts into investing in these future leaders. If we can provide the resources and encouragement necessary for analysing issues that affect our working environment it will assist their minds in creating a safe space to explore ideas and ultimately giving them an enormous sense of self-worth and gratitude.

Giving a voice
Giving a voice to our youth makes a huge difference. Expressing a thought or idea is one thing, but for someone to hear that opinion, is another. Although some won’t agree with this opinion piece, I believe youth are a necessary part of the backbone of this industry. Without them, there is no future.

Let’s not get carried away here, it is crucial to clarify that not every idea is picture perfect. We want to encourage creative thinking mixed with a realistic understanding to ensure the foundation of the idea has a solid base to inspire growth. It is imperative that they also learn to appreciate failure. Failure is an essential building block in life. How are we expected to learn, if not from our mistakes?

Good habits need to be presented and established early on to provide a sustainable platform for these youngsters. Essentially this process needs to start by shifting the current adverse mindsets of our more senior colleagues, giving them confidence in our youth to ensure they are seen as part of the solution, not part of the problem. It is vital we engage these minds and use them to our advantage. Moulding them to our needs, while still giving them the creative freedom to innovate change and seek revolutionary ideas.

Our younger colleagues need to know that their senior associates believe that they have the potential and capability to triumph through any problematic situation they are presented with.

Inevitability of change
Empowering youth doesn’t just have to implicate youth. The benefits are substantial, for both the industry and individuals involved. As we all know, change is inevitable, meaning we must work together as a cohesive team to protect the future outcome of the industries and world we live in. Through collaboration of experience, ideas, history and future forecasts; we can essentially walk into the future together, side by side.

As a huge advocate of our youth, as well as being one myself, I believe it is our collective responsibility to learn how best to approach, provide motivation and support them. By providing them with the tools to self-develop, they should see it as their duty to personally advance themselves.

I encourage those who believe in our youth to listen, teach and inspire them to make them the representatives of change they are so capable of being. I ask you, what could be more imperative to the future of our industry?

In the words of Franklin D. Roosevelt, “We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future”.

* Sarah Vogler is a customs broker at Panalpina World Transport

This article appeared in the September 2019 edition of DCN Magazine