East Anglia suffers supply chain skills shortage

9 January 2013

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9 January 2013 | Anna Reynolds

The supply chain profession is facing a skills shortage in East Anglia due to increased demand and an older workforce reaching retirement age, according to recruitment firm Cooper Lomaz.

In the company’s annual salary survey, statistics gathered over the past year have identified a “stay put” culture among senior staff created by the uncertain economic climate. Further, there is a lack of candidates with relevant degrees or experience across the seven sectors Cooper Lomaz recruits for. These include: the supply chain sector; accountancy; food manufacturing; engineering; oil, gas and renewables; sales and marketing; and IT.

The survey also revealed highly-skilled candidates are getting multiple job offers. Charlotte Cooper, joint managing director, Cooper Lomaz, told SM: “Across the supply chain management sector we have seen increased demand, particularly for production planners and logistics co-ordinators. The past 18 months has been a candidate-driven market with fewer readily available candidates with required skills. As a result there has been an increase in salaries with some candidates receiving counter offers.”

The firm is also seeing a new emphasis on developing skills with clients bringing in specialist contractors to rationalise the supply chain. It recommended companies invest in training and hiring quality graduates and apprentices who can be molded to meet niche requirements. The firm said short-term contractors are also worth considering.

Typical salaries for a buyer range from £25,000 to 30,000 across Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex and are slightly higher in Cambridgeshire. A senior buyer salary ranges between £30,000 to 40,000. Supply chain manager salaries start at £40,000 and go up to £60,000 across the four areas while group purchasing managers can earn between £50,000 to 70,000.

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