The creation of apprenticeships for Scottish-based youngsters will help encourage them into a career in purchasing and supply chain, and is an important ingredient in filling the local talent gap.
The initiative by City of Glasgow College and CIPS seeks to build and sustain the procurement talent pool. But more needs to be done.
As recruiters specialising in supply chain appointments, we have seen the effects of a lack of investment in graduates and entry-level positions at the beginning of the recession.
Six years on, the consequence of this cost cutting is a dearth of supply chain talent in Scotland and a potential leadership gap in the medium to long term.
The new apprenticeships go some way to address the talent gap. Equally as crucial will be the businesses that will choose to collaborate with the college and student bodies to provide progressive career opportunities post-education. But this next generation of talent will take time to impact the market. In the meantime, the pressure is on recruiters like us and managers in the supply chain profession to work hard to plug the gap from a limited domestic talent pool.
Companies now face expensive recruitment options - such as relocating talent from overseas – in the uncomfortable knowledge that early investment in training and development would have significantly mitigated the current skills gap.
☛ Jamie Brown is manager of supply chain and operations at Drummond Bridge