It is no secret that the population—and therefore the workforce—in many countries is ageing and that companies are struggling to adapt. Birth rates have been falling for many years and consequently the numbers retiring will outnumber young people entering the labour market.

An ageing workforce is a worrying problem within any industry, however for transport and logistics the concern is even higher. Currently there is a shortage of approximately 35,000 to 40,000 workers, and this is expected to increase to an estimated 240,000 by 2023 and unless a method is implemented to attract younger employees the shortage will only worsen. But can the shortages be reduced if employers can find ways of making better use of older workers and encourage people to stay in work longer?


  1. Put your employees first

The shortage is effecting a wide range of companies from SME’s to blue chip giants, including BMW, who have recently spoke out about their increasing problem. Their main concern, like many other similar companies is that, although their ageing workforce holds more experience and knowledge, this is also paired with reduced physical abilities, poorer eyesight and increased risk of work related illness or injury in such a physically demanding role.

To combat this problem BMW set up an internal experiment, to source the key problem areas when a production line was made up of employees of the age of 47 and higher. From their findings BMW are now making significant improvements to tailor their working environments to suit workers. This is a step in the right direction for BMW and something that other companies should also be adapting.

  1. Higher incentives

According to HireRight, the top four monetary based retention approaches are:

Increased pay (52%)

Upgrading equipment (47%)

Performance- based bonuses (45%)

Recognition and reward programmes (44%)

It is important to highlight and celebrate the culture, values and benefits that make working for your company great. Managers need to be aware of everything the company has to offer, and communicate those advantages to existing employees to help increase retention rates and give back to long residing employees

  1. ‘Recruiting for values’

The image of the transport and logistics sector needs to be revolutionised, to create an industry, which is more appealing and desirable for new recruits.  A method adopted by many within the social care industry, ‘recruiting for values’ could also be a step in the right direction for transport and logistics.

Employees need to be passionate, hardworking, flexible and dedicated, by containing a combination of these values it stands an employee in good stead of having a long term working relationship with their organisation. Setting expectations from the start is key from the employer to help new employees know what is required of them. For example long hours, working split shifts and overnight hours to complete large jobs, which have tight deadlines is often required within this sector.

  1. Expand your reach

Rather than sticking to social stereotypes when sourcing employees, companies are now driving traffic towards women, immigrants and veterans to create a more diverse talent pool. Higher input and effort need to be focused into methods of attraction and both research and development, combined with the use of targeted marketing campaigns to see a significant impact. Currently the most common recruitment methods are referrals (83%), online job boards (62%) and print media (57%), proving that word of mouth is still at the forefront for this industry.

For the support of women in the industry, the Government is now putting increased pressure on companies for equality in the workplace when it comes to progression and pay. For companies that help women realise their potential they will receive recognition, support and encouragement. The ‘Inspiring Women Campaign’, was set up for high achieving women to talk to girls in state schools about their position and career route. 15,000 women have already taken part to showcase and portray a different image of a stereotypical industry, in the hope of increasing the workforce from an early age.

For more information on how to combat some of the issues within the transport industry read our eBooks by clicking here or call Adam Baldry now on 0121 713 6956

Written by Josephine Lester, Marketing Executive