Australia’s supply chain and logistics workforce is set to increase from 145,000 in 2017 to 161,000 people by 2022, according to advisory service Deloitte Access Economics (DAE).
In its report, The Future of Work: Occupational and education trends in supply chain and logistics in Australia, DAE said that the increase represents an annual growth rate of 2.1%, well above the 1.5% projected growth of the Australian workforce as a whole.
It said the overall positive outlook for labour market demand in supply chain and logistics occupations could be attributed to the expanding nature of supply chain function and the growing role of e-commerce and technology.
David Rumbens, partner at DAE, said the growing importance of digital technology would mean an increase in reliance on data-driven insights to improve supply chain efficiency and effectiveness.
“The evolution of the supply chain is being accelerated by consumer-driven change, as customers move towards e-commerce away from traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers to online purchases and e-commerce,” he said.
The report also said that postgraduate qualifications would greatly impact the earning power of the sector’s professionals, boosting lifetime salaries by 48%, compared to individuals with no post-school qualifications.
It said in 2016-17, supply chain logistics professionals with postgraduate qualifications in management and commerce earned an average annual income of AU$140,949 – 66% more than workers in the sector with no post-school qualifications.
It added that by 2021-22, the average annual income of those professionals would increase by 14.3% to $164,360.
However, the report said the rise in income would come off the back of professionals being required to increase their skill levels.
Booi Kam, programme director of the Master of Supply Chain and Logistics Management at RMIT University, who consulted with Deloitte for the report, said technological revolution would drive job growth in supply chain and logistics faster than in the general workforce, and put pressure on managers to acquire new skills in e-commerce and data analytics.
“With new technologies such as drones, driverless vehicles, 3D printing and sensor technology seeing increased deployment across various supply chain functions, there will be greater opportunities for supply chain professionals to adapt business operations in procurement, production and distribution to effectively and efficiently use these digital tools,” he said.
“Technological developments are providing significant opportunities for applying data analytics to improve supply chain and logistics operations across functions such as demand forecasting, inventory management and supply chain visualisation.
“The use of data analytics to inform these decisions is increasingly being recognised as best practice in supply chain management.”
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