High demand for logistics graduates
15 August 2012
In today’s tight economic climate, it’s unusual to find an industry crying out for workers. And it’s even more unusual to find a course where students are regularly head hunted by employers before they finish their qualification.
But it’s happening all the time in the little known world of logistics.
“It’s one of those really, really frustrating and bizarre situations in a recession. We’ve got jobs waiting. We get employers ringing us on a weekly basis looking for people. It’s reaching crisis level,” says Helen Murray, senior lecturer at MIT’s school of Shipping, Freight and Logistics.
The school offers a one year Diploma in Shipping and Freight, which prepares graduates for mid-level logistics roles.
Former student Amit Rathod was offered three jobs on the very day he completed his final exam.
He is now based in Auckland’s CBD and is employed by CMA CGM, one of the world’s largest container shipping groups.
Amit, who was employed at a supermarket for seven years prior to studying, says a world of opportunities has opened up for him and working for a large, international company means the scope for career progression is huge.
“There are so many possibilities. I love my job. Everyday is different and I’m always busy,” Amit says.
Barry Cardno is also someone who knows about life’s possibilities. He has been confined to a wheelchair since a crash in a top-dressing plane 17 years ago, but hasn’t let this stop him pursuing his goals.
After some time doing seasonal work in Wanaka, Barry wanted a change in pace.
A friend suggested logistics, he relocated to Auckland to study at MIT, and one year later was offered his dream job.
“I work at Aeromarsters, we offer aviation spares support, ground equipment support and maintenance management. I still love flying. I have a Cessna at Ardmore and fly every weekend. My job lets me be surrounded by what I love everyday.
“There are many opportunities in life, you have just got to look for them,” Barry says.
So, with so many opportunities available in shipping, freight and logistics, why are more people not studying for a career in the industry?
Helen Murray says it’s a career that can be hard to define, and it doesn’t immediately spring to mind for many people.
“But the demand is there. We’ve had people three or four months into the course offered jobs,” Ms Murray says.
Part of the problem is that logistics is a varied career path and therefore hard to market. It is basically managing the flow of resources, from a point of origin to a destination. It can involve integrating information, transport, inventory, warehousing, material handling, packaging, and security. It involves road, rail, air and shipping.
Logistics lecturer Malcolm Brown says the knowledge students leave with after one year of study at MIT, takes the equivalent of three years to learn on the job.
“It makes our students highly desirable as employees and they enter the job market with that advantage.
“You come here for a one year diploma and leave with an amazing career. You’re dealing with people all over the world. You might start the morning talking to New York or Chicago, then by lunchtime China and Singapore as the time zones change. You are dealing with customers, truck drivers, customs officials, MAF, you might be down at the wharf. There’s never a dull moment,” Mr Brown says.
Contact: Andrea Svendsen
Phone: DDI: 09 968 8755