Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 8 December 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
Skills Needed to Support the Economic Recovery Plan: Discussion
Mr. Tony Donohoe:
As the Deputy will be aware, this is evolving. We are seeing the statistics in terms of slower exports to the UK in particular. From a skills perspective, we have a logistics and transport supply chain group. One of the most remarkable development over the past two years of the pandemic is how robust our supply chains have been, particularly to supermarkets. Apart from early blips, when people decided they needed to buy pasta and toilet rolls, we have managed to keep supermarkets very well stocked. That is a testimony to existing supply chains. This is not about trade voids as such, but it is the challenges around skills. Something that has been well publicised in the UK and that we identified in recent years is shortages of heavy goods vehicle, HGV, drivers. It is an ageing occupation and it is difficult to attract younger people into it. More generally, we have classified 14 different occupations in logistics and supply chains. There is a big job of work to be done to make this sector more attractive and to develop awareness from an earlier age. That is the challenge. It is not only going out and finding new markets; it is also ensuring our inward supply chains are functioning efficiently. Dr. Power might want to add something to that.